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Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Sites to Practice Typing

My mom was (and still is) a super-fast typist. She's an accountant, and I remember being amazed that she could type numbers into her computer programs without even looking at the keyboard. My dad was a teacher at the time, and she would type his exams sometimes; I remember thinking that the keyboard was going to go up in flames due to how fast she was! 

As I watched my mom type, I began to see the computer as more than just a gaming system -- it was a way to be more efficient and professional. Even at a young age, I could see that typed work always looked more "put together" than hand-written work. Further, my mom could type faster than anyone could write, so I started to see the computer as a tool to save time. 

The more I thought about it, the more I decided I needed to learn to type fast like I started practicing. Rest assured that I spent plenty of time playing outside as a kid, but the summer between 2nd and 3rd grade was when I took random books off the shelf, placed them in my lap, and just typed what was inside.

I'll go ahead and put this here, since I know you're thinking it....
As I've gotten older, I've learned to embrace my nerdiness.

I have no idea what possessed me to type books (why didn't I make up my own things to type?), but it ended up being great practice since I got to type all kinds of symbols, too. 

In 3rd grade, my teacher assigned everyone the task of researching an animal of our choice. (To this day, I still do not know why I chose the Palomino horse...) I used my newfound typing skills to finish and submit my paper super-early (those of you that know me can see that my personality has pretty much remained consistent since elementary school!). I don't recall the sequence of events that led to the next step -- I just remember that, somehow, I ended up typing all of my classmates' animal research papers on the little computer in the corner of our classroom that all the other kids only used to play Oregon Trail. 

My typing skills have only gotten better and faster since then, and they have served me well throughout the years. I fully understand that today's children are growing up with different devices and different needs, but I still think typing is a valuable skill -- and one that our kids should be practicing at least every once in a while. 

If you subscribe to the same school of thought, here are some free resources you can use to let your students practice typing:
A lot of these games require Flash, which means that you won't be able to play them on an iPad unless you pay for a fancy app that allows Flash websites. However, if you do want to practice typing on an iPad, you may want to invest in an iPad keyboard. Personally, I prefer iPad keyboard cases that allow you to type while the device is both vertical and horizontal. Here are favorites:

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