An individual who is a master at touch typing is faster, more accurate, and therefore more productive.  In addition, using proper technique reduces mental and physical fatigue.

Best Practices for Keyboarding Instruction


As keyboarding teachers, we all know the benefits of touch typing and want to pass on these benefits to our young learners.  An individual who is a master at touch typing is faster, more accurate, and therefore more productive.  In addition, using proper technique reduces mental and physical fatigue.  Here are a few things to keep in mind when teaching a group of new students how to correctly touch type.

Emphasize Technique
  • Let students know they will be evaluated on technique so that they begin to value practicing proper technique. 
  • Help students set goals for technique and letter mastery to give them something to work for. 
Typing and the Sense of Touch
  • Students who lose their place often may be looking at their fingers. Looking away from the copy makes the student less efficient. 
  • Ask students who are watching hands what sense they are not using (sense of touch).  
  • Have students practice finding the home row by feeling for the “bump” or “ridge” on the “F” and “J” keys without looking. 
Introducing the Home Row
  • Identify the "name" of each finger:  Left pinkie "A", left ring "S", left tall "D", left pointer "F".  Right pinkie ";", right ring "L", right tall "K", right pointer "J". 
  • Space with the right thumb only. 
  • Remember, home row keys are keyed with the tip of the finger. 
Introducing New Keys
  • Demonstrate these reaches to the students. This can be done on an overhead or at a keyboard.
  • Reaches on the top row should be keyed with the ball part of the finger. 
  • Reaches on the bottom row should be keyed with the nail part of the finger with the exception of "B" and "N". 
  • NOTE:  "G, H, B, N" are keyed with the ball part of the finger.
Use of Peer Feedback
  • It is difficult to always know what all ten fingers of each student in an entire class are doing, so make use of peer feedback.
  • Peer  feedback can be used to allow students to take ownership of evaluation and to check for understanding of instruction.
Evaluation of Errors
  • The cause of an error is more important than the fact that the student made a mistake. 
  • Many errors are the symptoms of poor keyboarding technique, wrong finger curve, eyes not on copy, poor posture, etc.  Gently correct technique errors as they are observed.
  • Challenge students to avoid using the backspace or delete keys to correct errors.
  • Help students see their progress immediately. 
  • In the beginning, measure progress in terms of perfecting technique, rather than by increasing speed.
  • Praise students when they are using correct technique.
  • Keep in mind that reflective thinking aids the learning process. For example, discuss the new letter(s) and keystroke(s) learned.
  • End the day with "eyes closed" dictation or, if using the KeyMaster Learning Lights Keyboard with “lights off”.


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