Hunt and Peck typing method versus touch-typing. Which method is preferred when learning how to type?

Typewiz.com – be a wiz at touch-typing!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Touch-typing is a skill that grows from training your fingers to automatically hit the correct characters on a keyboard in order to type the words and sentences you wish to compose. The method is called touch-typing because, over time, your fingers are trained to find the relevant letters by touch as opposed to look – so that you no longer need to look at the keyboard. This frees you up to look directly ahead at the screen and concentrate on what you are typing and how you want to present it. Thus making you more efficient and capable of multitasking.

Hunt and Peck typing, on the other hand, refers to typing through looking at the keyboard, hunting around for the character key you wish to press – and then pecking at it! The Hunt and Peck method is less efficient as it forces your attention onto the keyboard in order to find characters, instead of onto the screen, where you need to look to monitor your work.  The hunt and peck method of typing is not a method as such, it is not fixed, therefore there is no rhyme or reason to it. Consequently, any finger can hit any key at any time, which leaves little room for developing proficiency or typing speed. Thus making you less efficient and incapable of multitasking.

How touch-typing works:

The QWERTY keyboard – so-called from the word QWERTY – which can be made up from the letters on the top row of the keyboard – is specifically designed to work for touch-typing. The layout of the entire keyboard complete with all letters of the alphabet, punctuation marks, numbers, and symbols, is fashioned in a manner that optimises correct finger movement for touch-typing. If you want to read more about the QWERTY keyboard check out our blog on why the QWERTY keyboard has survived so long compared to other easier input methods.

In essence, the method entails teaching individual fingers specific letters and characters to press on the keyboard – and then memorising these movements. Each finger types a fixed selection of letters and nothing else. Once all fingers know where they must go – so to speak – they can work in combination to efficiently and effectively cover the entire alphabet and keyboard.

With practice, touch typing becomes much easier and once the system ‘clicks’, the learner can go on to achieve higher typing speeds and build up their words-per-minute rate.

Touch-typing – correct technique

Touch typing is the ability to type without looking down at the keyboard. It is a skill that needs to be learned and it becomes better as you practice using the correct technique. The correct technique is to place your fingers on the home keys, left-hand fingers should start with the little resting on A button and the main index finger on F button on the keyboard. The right-hand fingers should start with the index finger on J button and the little finger on the ; semicolon button. If you are interested in learning how to touch type, check out our new typing tutor Typewiz which is specifically aimed at teaching children how to touch type in a fun and interactive way.

On a practical basis, the system can be explained as follows:

Typewiz.com – be a wiz at typing!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Left hand – what letters your left fingers should be typing:

 

  • Little finger (pinkie): types the letters A, Q and Z.
  • Ring finger: types the letters S, W and X.
  • Middle finger: types the letters D, E and C.
  • Index finger: types the letters F,R,V,B,G, and T

Right hand – what letters your right fingers should be typing:

  • little finger (pinkie): types the following characters Semi-colon(:), P and Full stop (.) only.
  • Ring finger: types the characters L, O and comma (,).
  • Middle finger: types the letters K, I and M.
  • Index finger: types the letters J,U,M,N,H, and Y

 

Already you can see from looking at the keyboard that just learning these three-finger movements will help you cover nine letters in the alphabet and a good left-hand portion of the keyboard. Complete touch-typing will show you where all eight fingers go on the keyboard (the thumbs are only used to press the Space Bar) so that, when working together, your fingers can fly around the keyboard as you touch-type and build up your typing speed.

Our new typing tutor typewiz.com  is now available to any student that wants to learn how to touch type.

  • Typewiz is a new fun and interactive way to learn to touch type.
  • Typewiz is run through our Searsol centres monitored by our professional Searsol tutors (Ireland only).
  • Students get to select different avatars as they progress up the lessons.
  • Students can earn coins based on their performance on the course.
  • Coins can then be used in our games arcade where each coin spent allows the student to access one game.
  • Students can earn different word per minute badges (Bronze, Silver or Gold) as they become faster at typing.
  • Students can earn lesson badges as they progress up the lessons.
  • Realistic hands with a green finger which shows the user what keyboard button to press.
  • Graphs of all previous percentage scores with Words Per Minute (WPM) are available to access for the student at all times.
  • Typewiz is a self-paced course that allows students to work at their own pace in a classroom environment or at home.

If you are interested in trying out typewiz. Chat with us online or contact Searsol at info@searsol.com.

Typewiz.com – be a wiz at touch typing!

 

Should you teach your child how to touch type?

 

As every parent knows it is difficult to be a teacher and parent with your child. While a parents role is to nourish, encourage and motivate your child achievements. A teachers job is to instil a routine of learning that helps a student learn their subject in the easiest way based on the student’s abilities. Where the problem arises is when you become both the teacher and the parent.

The problem is that sometimes you be in your best attention try too hard to encourage your child to learn a subject, that you become the pushy parent and your child rebels and won’t listen to you. The end result is that your child doesn’t learn and it is up not learning the subject matter that you wanted them to learn. It really depends on your relationship with your child, your teaching abilities and the child focus on success and motivation to learn a subject.

To learn touch typing requires effort and dedication. A student would need to put in the least 20 hours of solid learning before they will be able to master the keyboard. Even then their speed would be quite slow but they would be aware of the keyboard buttons and be able to select them without looking at them.

As a parent, if you want your child to learn to touch type, the options are as follows:

  1. Hope that your school teaches touch typing as part of the computer curriculum. Most schools don’t so best check with your school on this.
  2. Learn how to touch type at home. This is a great idea but it really depends on your child and set about a dedicated time to achieve this. A child needs to be actively monitored and ensure that correct fingers are on the home keys.
  3. Send your child to a trained professional who has taught children how to touch type. This is really the ideal way to learn how to touch type. Your child is an environment with similar children of the age profile learning how to touch type.

Learning how to touch type does require patience, motivation and concentration but it can be learnt by anyone. We recommend the ideal start age is for a child to be the primary age group from eight onwards. If a child picks learns how to touch type before they enter secondary school then they have managed to master a major skill that will benefit them in the long run.

As Searsol, we offer the possibility to learn how to touch type online with our online typing tutor (www.typewiz.com).  More details are available on www.typewiz.com. We also offer dedicated typing centres in Ireland. To check out the location, click on https://searsol.com/find-centers/. We also run intense computer camps that teach touch typing over Easter and Summer, to check out our camps, click on the following link http://searsolcomputercamps.com

 

If your child has dysgraphia and poor handwriting speed, what can you do to help?

Child holding pen with dysgraphia

 

 

 

 

 

 

If your child has dysgraphia and poor handwriting speed, what can you do to help?

According to Amundson (1995), the average typing speed of a child aged 10 is about 10 to 12 words per minute and when that child reaches an age of 14 their writing speed increases to around 16 words per minute. If your child has a learning difference such as dysgraphia their handwriting speed will be significantly slower. Their handwriting can be illegible and difficult to read. Dysgraphia is a nervous system problem that affects the fine motor skills needed to write. It makes it hard for a child to do handwriting homework or classwork. 

As a Parent you will be worried at your child’s slow handwriting speed so what can you do to improve it.  Try these tips to help improve your child’s handwriting skills and make lessons more productive and enjoyable for you and your child.

  • Use a research-based handwriting program. Your child’s teacher may recommend one that suits your child.  
  • Provide short bursts of handwriting exercise instead of long, drawn-out sessions. Many kids with dysgraphia need to work on fine motor skills. Activities such as colouring, cutting, painting, model-building, working with clay, working pencil mazes, and threading beads will increase dexterity and build fine motor skills.
  • Schedule handwriting practice time for 15 minutes a day.
  • If your child can’t remember how to form letters consistently, writing them correctly at times, but incorrectly at other times. This could be a sign that he has problems with your child’s working memory.
  • Work on correct letter formation by using multisensory methods and techniques that don’t require writing. Finger writing in the air, in the sand, in shaving cream, or on sandpaper are all great exercises that can encourage improvement in proper letter formation.

 

If your child’s handwriting speed doesn’t improve within six months using the techniques described above. Then it might be worth looking at introducing technology to assist your child with his / her writing skills. The best way would be to introduce your child to a computer and keyboard and learn how to touch type. Touch typing is being able to type without having to look at keys on the keyboard. 

If you are interested in getting your child to learn how to touch type at any of Searsol educational centres https://searsol.com/find-centers/

20 simple and easy tips to get you touch typing!

Learn how to Touch Type fast – 20 simple and easy tips to get you to touch-typing!

Typewiz.com – be a wiz at touch typing!

 

 

 

 

 

Touch typing is the ability to type without looking at the keyboard. It is a memory skill that requires practice and patience. Correct habit formation can help you learn how to touch type successfully.

Ensure that you are sitting correctly with two feet on the ground and the keyboard in alignment with your body. Sit up straight, feet to the floor, elbows at my side, eyes only on the text and never on the keyboard.

sitting on computer

Introduce your hands to the home keys – left hand will use asdf, the right hand will use jkl;. Curve your fingers on the home keys and only ever move the finger that needs pressing on the key. The F and J keys will have a little bump on them to help you find them without looking down at the keyboard

Typewiz.com – be a wiz at typing!

Always return your fingers to home keys before selecting another key on the keyboard.

Try and maintain a rhythm when you are typing.

Use the thumb to press the spacebar.

Always correct errors by raising your little finger up to the backspace button

Take regular breaks when learning how to type.

Don’t use the cap locks button when trying to capitalise a letter, use the shift keys instead. There is two shift keys on a keyboard, the shift key to left operates the buttons to right and shift key to right operates the key to the left.

Take your time when learning how to type, speed will come naturally once you have memorised the keys on the keyboard.

Use a keyboard cover, to cover the keys on the keyboards. We recommend the use of speekskin cover, this is the one we use in our tying centres.

Practice at least one hour per week. Practice! Practice! Practice!

When learning how to touch type, expect typing to decrease initially compared to how you normally would touch type.

Know your keyboard. Familiarise yourself where the keys on the keyboard are by clicking on keys suggested on the typing tutor you are using. By making mistakes initially you are learning to touch type successfully in the long term.

Stretching – when you fingers get stiff. Take a rest and give them a good shake for a minute. This will help increase the blood flow into your fingers.

Accuracy – it is more important to be accurate when starting off at typing. Accuracy helps you learn the keys on the keyboard more quickly.

A key has to pressed by the same finger all the time on the keyboard.

Keep a record of your problem keys and practice correcting them.

Take breaks from typing by playing typing games.

Practice using real words and sentences, this can be used in real-life projects.

Stay motivated and enjoy as the reward from learning how to type will be the biggest skill that you ever learn.

Typewiz

Typewiz is a fun and interactive way to learn how to touch type.

Typewiz offers the following benefits:

  • It is a new fun and interactive way to learn to touch type.
  • Your child gets to select different avatars as they progress up the lessons.
  • Kids can earn coins based on their performance on the course.
  • Coins can then be used in our games arcade where each coin spent allows the student to access one game.
  • Your child can earn different word per minute badges (Bronze, Silver or Gold) as they become faster at typing.
  • Kids can earn lesson badges as they progress up the lessons.
  • 3D hands with a green finger which shows the user what keyboard button to press.
  • Graphs of all previous percentage scores with Words Per Minute(WPM) are available to access for the student at all times.
  • Typewiz is a self-paced course which allows students to work at their own pace.

For more information about Typewiz, check out typing tutor at www.typewiz.com

What is the vital ingredient needed to learn how to touch type?

What is the vital ingredient needed to learn how to touch type?

Kids typing tutor
Typewiz – be a wiz at typing!

Key ingredients to learn how to touch type

When making brown bread, you need all the ingredients for the brown bread to come out right and that you are happy with the result. You follow a recipe and ensure that you are adding in the correct amounts of each particular ingredient and follow the instructions so you are satisfied that the end result is that you produce a brown bread that you are happy with.

The same applies when learning how to touch type. The ingredients that Searsol offers in our touch typing courses are as follows:

  • Typewiz – a touch typing program specially formulated so that your child earns rewards such as badges and game coins to be used in the games arcade
  • Tutors – that are specially trained and encourage each student to work to the best of their ability
  • Positive environment –  Searsol provide a positive environment where students are praised and recognised for their hard work
  • Practice and routine – each student attends the class each week and this helps them practise their touch typing skills. 
  • Revision – students can revise over the exercises that they have completed previously.
  • Certificates –  end of term certificates show the students how far they have progressed on the course. 

 

All these ingredients that Searsol controls and offer to all our students. But there is one vital ingredient that is required in order to be successful when learning how to touch type. This key ingredient is Motivation. The definition of motivation is the act or process of giving someone a reason for doing something.

 

If a student is not motivated to learn how to touch type, they are missing a vital ingredient and will not learn how to touch type or learn incorrectly. It is like leaving out the baking soda in a brown bread recipe, the brown bread will not rise and the end result will be unsatisfactory. Without motivation, a Student will not master the skill of touch typing 

 

Parents need to discuss with their child the importance of learning how to touch type and why they are doing the course. They need to be able to motivate their child so that their child can get their mindset focused on learning correctly. Examples could be an extra playing time on the game station or the possibility of a laptop if they obtain a good typing speed. Whether the Parent thinks will help their child to stay motivated and learn how to touch type.   

 

The end result is that a child that is motivated to learn how to touch type will do extremely well on the Searsol touch typing course. They will learn a skill that will stay with them for the rest of their lives, whether it is school, work or personal usage. By using all the correct ingredients, you end up with a lovely slice of brown bread!

 

 

 

 

 

“Learning is not attained by chance. It must be sought for with ardor and attended with diligence.” – Abigail Adams

Why the QWERTY keyboard has survived compared to more easier input keyboard layouts?

Do you know why QWERTY keyboard has survived so long? We outline the history of keyboard layout to you.

Qwerty

Mechanical Typewriters: 1870’s

In 1872, Remington Company produced the first mechanical typewriter, patented by Latham Sholes. Typists soon mastered the skill to typing that they were going so fast that were jamming the typewriter keys which flew up to hit the typewriter ribbon. In the late 1870’s, instead of solving the problem of why the typewriter was jamming, Remington redesigns the keyboard layout so as to slow down the typist by introducing the QWERTY keyboard. The “improved” QWERTY layout was designed to slow down typing and prevent typewriter keys from jamming anymore by slowing down the typist.

Electric Typewriters: 1930’s – Dvorak

Electric typewriters solve the problem of the keys jamming and new keyboards layouts were introduced. In 1936, August Dvorak patented a new layout to reduce finger reach and strain by putting common letters on the home row and to avoid awkward use of key pairs  to improve speed. Here’s the Dvorak keyboard:

Dvorak
Design criteria sound good, so what’s wrong with this keyboard? Almost all letters move from their familiar QWERTY locations. The change was too big and relearning of this new keyboard layout would have taken people a month to get familiar with the Dvorak keyboard. Hence the uptake on this new design was poor with typist preferring to stick with QWERTY keyboard for typing.

Personal Computers: 1970’s

With the introduction of the personal computer in 1970’s, there was another opportunity to change from the standard QWERTY keyboard layout. But the QWERTY keyboard remained as Computers manufactures wanted the typist to engage with the computers. To make the change over to computers less of a hassle and to reduce the learning curve, the keyboard design was not changed.

Colemak

In 2006, a programmer named Shai Coleman released an alternative keyboard layout called Colemak. Just as Dvorak was a response to QWERTY’s shortcomings, Colemak addresses the failures of Dvorak but does so in a way that doesn’t alienate current QWERTY users. The intended result is a layout that aims for speed, efficiency, minimal repetitive stress injuries, and an easy learning curve for QWERTY  typists.

colemak

The beauty of Colemak is that there are only 17 differences in key placement between it and QWERTY, yet those 17 differences are more than enough to create a radically improved typing environment. All other keys remain the same. As such, QWERTY users should not be afraid to learn Colemak.

 

Colemak eliminates virtually all cases of frequent letters in “stretched finger” locations. For example, Dvorak places ‘L’ in the QWERTY ‘P’ spot, which requires frequent stretching of the pinky. The positions of other keys have also been optimized with Colemak, such as moving the high-frequency ‘R’ and ‘I’ keys to the home row.

So should you change from QWERTY to learn a new keyboard layout?

If you spend most of your day typing on a computer, it’s worth looking into. The speed gains and injury reductions are real and they do add up over time. However, there are some things that you’ll want to keep in mind.

You’ll experience a big drop in typing speed while learning a new layout. A typical person trying to learning would need to set aside a whole month to learn a new keyboard layout. However, with the help of typing tutors such as our own Typewiz which helps you learn how to touch type in a fun and interactive way.  For more details about Typewiz check out our website www.typewiz.com

Typewiz – be a wiz a typing

 

 

 

 

 

Keyboard shortcuts can be an inconvenience. Due to Dvorak’s drastically different layout, shortcuts like CTRL+C (COPY), CTRL+ V (Paste) and CTRL + X (Cut) can be a pain. Colemak is less of a pain due to its similarities to QWERTY, but the differences still exist and you may find yourself frustrated from time to time when you accidentally hit the wrong shortcut keys.

Lastly, other computers will still be QWERTY. This isn’t a big deal but if you are using multiple devices  it can be problematic if you switch computers a lot, or if other people use your computer it can cause problems and time delays in typing.

For me, the QWERTY keyboard is here to stay and it has been part of keyboard history and will not be changed. So it importing to learn typing on a QWERTY keyboard using a typing tutor is important. Why not book a free first session trial at our course centres where your child can learn how to touch type assisted by our trained professional tutors..

Will you stick with QWERTY or switch to an alternative? Or maybe you have already switched? Tell us what you think in the comments below!

 

 

Why learning in a Searsol after school centre is more beneficial for a child with learning differences than learning how to touch type at home.

kids-on-computers

 

 

 

 

 

 

It is more beneficial for your child to learn how to touch type at Searsol’s after school typing centres than at home for the following reasons:FirstSessionFreeBullet

Nationwide network of after school typing centres
Searsol offers a nationwide network of after school typing centre. We cover all the major cities in Ireland and are currently expanding our network of centres.
Each centre provides the same course and ensures high-quality training, deliver and success on after school typing courses.

Children and young people

Training is targeted at children and young people in order to help them develop typing skills – ensuring that the next generation learns correct typing skills during this technological age in which typing is a key skill. The training is done in a group situation but it is self-paced so each child learns how to type at a level that is happy with.

Dyslexia and dyspraxia

Children with dyslexia and dyspraxia are specifically catered to at Searsol in order to equip them with valuable touch type skills as they progress through education. While writing and holding a pen can be difficult for students with dyslexia and dyspraxia, touch typing is a skill most young people can readily master. Typed homework and assignments ensure that students’ work can be properly assessed and graded as there is no issue around legibility – as if often the case with handwritten work.

After school training

Searsol after school touch typing courses takes place on weekdays after school or at the weekend, making it convenient for children to attend and for parents to arrange pick-up. Classes are for one hour each week with the course schedule arranged to synchronise with normal school terms.

Unique programme

Searsol pioneered its own unique touch type programme that takes learners from beginner to advanced level through a series of organised lessons. Individual students are given their own private log-in details so that at each session they can record their progress and pick up from where they last left off.

No homework required

There is a natural progression as students move through the lessons following the Typewiz programme. All practice can take place during the course so there is no need to do additional work at home. On completion of the course, the student will be able to touch type proficiently which will enable them to use their new skill to deliver course work going forward.

Learn at your own pace

There is no onus on students to finish the course within a fixed time. Searsol runs parallel to school course terms one after the other so that students can continue practising and learning at their own pace until they complete the course. Students do not compete against each other. The goal is simply to complete the lessons in their own time.

Progress report

In addition to the week-to-week progress reports recorded on the system for each student, Searsol tutors also personally review student progress during each lesson, guiding and encouraging students as they learn and helping them overcome any challenges.

After school typing centres

Searsol centres offer free introductory first session trials so parents can see first-hand how the course works and children can enjoy a trial-run to get a feel for the programme. Parents are advised to book trial places in advance at their nearest course centre.

Established provider with proven record

Searsol has been successfully running its touch type service since 2008 teaching children all over Ireland how to touch type. The service offers qualified garda-vetted tutors experienced in teaching children how to touch type. Make sure your child is not left behind by engaging with Searsol now and booking a place on the course.

Testimonials

See testimonials on our website attesting to how Searsol is helping children develop concentration skills and grow confidence through learning how to touch-type.

Our course centres are now nationwide, click the image below to get your free first session trial!! FirstSessionFreeBullet

 

Why touch typing is beneficial for children with dyslexia?

Why is touch typing beneficial for a child that has dyslexia?

Why is touch typing beneficial for a child that has dyslexia?

Why is touch typing beneficial for children with dyslexia?

Students that have dyslexia have found that learning how to touch type improves other skills such as spelling, grammar, vocabulary and reading ability. Students who have learned how to touch typing early outperform better in tests regardless of whether or not they have dyslexia. Touch typing is the ability to type without the need to look down at the keyboard. It is a proven system to learn the keyboard and is much better than learning to type using the hunt and peck method.

 

Students with dyslexia that have learned how to touch-type improve their muscle memory as they are training their brain to memories the keyboard. Like a person lifting weights in a gym and gaining muscle by repeating the reps, a student with dyslexia by practicing the constant repetition of the keyboard moments the brain muscle memory which in turn can help with cognitive abilities such as spelling words.  

 

Handwriting can be difficult for students with dyslexia. Mistakes made in handwritten exercises are difficult to correct, they tend to covered over by Tippex or crossed out words making the document a bit messy than if the document was typed up.

 

Any student that learns how to touch type has learned important skills in life that will make them more efficient and faster in the work they produce than producing handwritten exercises. Documents produced by typing them out are more professional and easier to read. 

 

Students that have dyslexia that has learned how to touch type can find it easier to capture their thoughts and input them directly on the computer using the keyboard and word processing software as opposed to writing on paper. Any spelling or grammar mistakes can be corrected using spelling and grammar readily available on word processing software.

 

According to a research study by (Weigelt Marom & Weintraub, 2015)

It was found that touch-typing instruction may benefit students in general, and more specifically, students with learning differences studying in higher education, which often use computers in order to circumvent their handwriting difficulties.

 

Touch typing provides students with dyslexia with an important communication layer that can be used to communicate directly with fellow students, teachers and parents. This will provide them with a life-changing skill that will help them through the education system and onwards in the working environment. 

At Searsol, we provide the classroom environment with children with learning differences such as dyslexia, dyspraxia (DCD), or dysgraphia who can learn at their own pace using our specially designed touch typing software. A free trial available at our centres and can be booked online at :

Find Centers

New Wednesday touch typing Class in our Lucan Centre starting in September 2019

New after school touch typing class on Wednesday in Lucan, Co Dublin

After school touch typing class
Touch typing class
New Touch typing class on Wednesday in Lucan

 

Searsol is starting a new Wednesday after school typing class on in St Kevin’s Community School in our Lucan Centre starting in September 2019.

Searsol is currently offering a free introductory first session trial of Searsol’s after school typing courses for any child who is eight years old or older that may be interested in trying out our typing course.

Our typing course is specifically designed to develop typing skills for children. Searsol has provided after school typing courses over the last eight years in Ireland and have a high success rate of students that have successfully learnt how to touch type. During the course, the student will learn how to type correctly assisted by a qualified tutor.

This course would suit children that have learning differences like Dyslexia or Dyspraxia but also suitable for any child that wants to learn how to touch type and have gained an exemption to use a laptop for exams. To book your free trial place you can contact Searsol on 01-6303384 or book a free trial at https://searsol.com/course-booking-first-session-free