How long does it take to learn to touch type?

How long does it take to learn to touch-type?

It’s a question that we have been asked several times before and to be honest it’s a difficult one to answer.

Definition of Touch Typing:

Touch typing is the ability to type without looking down at the keyboard. A person who can touch-type will know all the letters location on the keyboard through muscle memory. The term is often used to refer to a specific form of touch typing that involves placing the eight fingers in a horizontal row along the middle of the keyboard

Home Keys

Touch typing 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 the A button and the main index finger on the F button on the keyboard. The right-hand fingers should start with the index finger on the 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. Also, see our youtube video below on How to touch type using Typewiz which explains the correct procedure to learn how to touch type using our typing tutor Typewiz.

 

A range of factors come into play in deciding how long it will take to learn how to touch type.

Factors to consider are the concentration, motivation, age of the student, and if the student has any learning difficulties.

Concentration:

If a student has poor or weak concentration, then it will take them a lot longer to learn how to touch type. As touch typing requires a lot of concentration and persistence in learning where the keys are on the keyboard.

Motivation:

If a student is not motivated to learn touch typing, then, unfortunately, they will never learn how to touch type. If they don’t see the benefits of touch typing and rather do it their own way then a student will never learn to touch type correctly and will revert to their own ways (Hunt and Peck method).

Age:

The younger the student age the longer they will take to learn how to touch type. At Searsol, we believe the best age start to touch type is from the age of eight. We feel any younger than eight years old, a student is just not ready to learn to touch type successfully due to the size of their hands and lack of concentration.

Learning difference:

If a student has a learning difficulty such as dyslexia, dyspraxia (DCD), dysgraphia, then this student will take longer to learn how to touch type compared to a student that doesn’t have these learning difficulties. We feel for these students classroom learning is the best solution for a child that has learning differences. At Searsol, we offer a free trial for students who want to experience our classroom learning. A free trial is available by clicking on the following link (Ireland only). We also offer a free seven-day trial online click on the following link

 

How long does it take to learn how to touch-typing?

So going back to the question, how long does it take to learn to touch type. An average student without learning differences would learn to touch type within eight to ten hours. They might be touch typing at a very slow speed (8 – 15  words per minute).

Bronze standard – 15 words per minute

 

A student who attains 15 words per minute or greater will be rewarded with our bronze badge on Typewiz.  This would take approximately 10 hours to achieve for the average student doing the Typewiz course. 

Silver standard – 25 words per minute

The next level on Typewiz is our silver badge which is 25 words or greater. An average student would need to do around 30 hours on Typewiz to get to this level.

Gold standard – 40 words per minute

Forty words per minute is where a student can touch type faster than they can write which is an amazing achievement! It is the gold standard on Typewiz and for most students very difficult to achieve. It requires a student to put in an additional forty hours of practice using Typwiz. 

If a student achieves the gold badge on Typewiz. Then this is a great advantage to have for a student, as they progress through secondary school, third level and onto work. Typing faster than writing without ever having to look down at the keyboard!

Typewiz.com – a new innovative way to learn how to touch type!

Typewiz online typing tutor for kids

 

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.
  • 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 show 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.
  • Typewiz is also available through our Searsol centres monitored by our professional Searsol tutors (Ireland only). 

If you are interested in finding out more information about Typewiz. Visit our website at www.typewiz.com  Free seven-day trial available.

 

Why do you need to touch type in the 21st century?

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

 

 

 

 

 

We were recently why was there still a need to touch type in the 21st century. It was a good question and with the advent of new technologies, such as smartphones, tablets, hybrid laptops and text to speech. Maybe there isn’t such a need for touch-typing or was there?

 Hunt and Peck

The hunt and peck typing method is a very popular method to input text on the keyboard. This is where a person types but moves his fingers around the keyboard until the find the correct letters. Where a person can type sufficiently using the hunt and peck method, it is still error-prone and can reduce the efficiency of the person typing compared to a person who can touch type. 

Touch typing/keyboarding

Touch typing (also called keyboarding) is typing without using the sense of sight to find the keys. Specifically, a touch typist will know their location on the keyboard through muscle memory. In today’s competitive job market, it is important for anyone applying for any job that involves the use of computers to learn to touch type. And it is not stretching it to suggest being able to type fast without looking at the keyboard is a 21st-century basic skill in computers.

Advantages of touch typing

The main advantages of touch typing are as follows:

Speed

Touch typing training can improve an individual’s typing speed and accuracy dramatically. The accepted average typing speed is 40 WPM (words per minute), professional career typists can exceed 100 WPM repeatedly and continuously (secretarial, data entry, etc.). Every individual learns at a different pace, and routine practice is required to maintain a high typing speed and accuracy.

Reduced switching of attention

A touch typist does not need to look down at the keyboard (that is obscured with fingers and maybe poorly lit) and other areas that require attention. This increases productivity and reduces the number of errors.

Overall the payback from learning how to touch type outways the inefficiency of other input methods. Once you have the skill it will stay with you for the rest of your life. So how do you start to touch-type? Why not try our seven days free trial of our typing tutor Typewiz? For more information go to www.typewiz.com

 

Why touch typing is beneficial for children with dyspraxia (DCD)?

Why touch typing is beneficial for children with dyspraxia (DCD)?
Why touch typing is beneficial for children with dyspraxia (DCD)?

Why touch typing is beneficial for children with dyspraxia (DCD)?

 

Dyspraxia (DCD) is a difficulty with thinking out, planning, and carrying out sensory/motor tasks. A recent study of nearly 7,000 seven and eight-year-olds in the UK found that just under two children in every 100 may have dyspraxia. This study used strict criteria for diagnosing the condition, which may explain why other sources suggest that six or eight people in every 100 may have dyspraxia.

Dyspraxia is more common in boys and sometimes runs in families. It may also occur alongside other conditions, such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder ADHD.

Dyspraxia can make the process of writing laborious and even painful. This is why touch typing (keyboarding) is so frequently recommended for those with dyspraxia. Becoming more familiar with the keyboard or learning to touch type (being able to type with multiple fingers without looking at the keyboard) can be very helpful for children.

Once students are able to touch type successfully with accuracy and speed. This can help students unlock their potential and transfer easily their ideas onto electronic format without the frustration experienced when handwriting.  Creativity is unlocked and the student’s self-esteem greatly enhanced.

The keyboard has many important advantages:

  • It increases legibility and clarity of presentation
  • Increased speed of the input
  • Spelling – learning physical letter patterns on the keyboard can be helpful with the spelling of some words
  • Reduces the physical pressure and concentration of handwriting- pressing a key can be much easier than manipulating a pen or pencil
  • Editing work is easier
  • Confidence. The keyboard may allow the child to record work more independently and to produce the required work in the time allowed.

At Searsol, we have worked with children with dyspraxia to teach them how to learn to touch type. Children with dyspraxia need careful guidance and help so they can master the skills of touch typing.  Searsol offers touch typing courses in our typing centres

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

 

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!

 

 

New Searsol touch typing class starting in Naas, Co Kildare

Typing classes naas
After school touch typing class in Naas

St Mary College Naas Kildare

New Touch typing classes in Naas

Searsol is starting a new after school touch typing class on in St Mary’s College in Naas starting on Tuesday 15th of October 2019 at 4:30 pm.

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

Our touch 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. We use our own specially designed touch typing software which is only available through our centre.

This course is suitable for children with 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

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