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Traditional software methods of teaching keyboarding cannot reasonably be judged to be simple and effective
1 To start, students are given minimal instruction on what finger hits what key, eg, "your left pinkie finger hits a", "press the shaded key, f"
2 Then, rows of random letters that need to be typed appear on the screen. When students hit the wrong key, there are flashing keys and/or fingers or voice prompts. There's no other learning strategy and no early sense of "Wow, I can do this"
3 Students could easily cheat to progress to next screen of random letters as these programs only recognize when the correct key is typed, not what finger is used
"Classroom teachers don't have time to monitor students and they hunt and peck their way through these programs and then think they know how to type"
4 Students learn and practice "locked" in a software program:
o Between lessons, they need to revert back to using two fingers to type their "real" computer work:
"Why did Nail It Now Typing Tutor succeed where Mavis Beacon failed? Many courses go through a series of exercises to get you to use each finger and hand correctly. You may spend half an hour each day, then go back to work. That means you are going right back to your old ways with your two fingers and are almost guaranteed to forget everything you just learned"
Review by Marvin Silbert
Computer Review Editor
"Hub: Digital Living" magazine, Canada
October 9, 2002
o Keyboarding should be continually practiced as part of daily keyboard use until it becomes automatic, but this is not possible when students practice in sporadic sessions "locked" in a program
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