Many students may need extra practice to enhance their typing skills so they’re prepared for their academic and professional futures. Whether you haven’t considered the significance of typing for children or you’re motivated to help improve your child’s typing skills, learn more about the importance of these skills and how you can help your child take their typing skills to the next level.
Why Typing Skills Are an Important Part of Education
It’s easy to assume that digital natives — that is, young people who grew up around technology — are automatically adept at all things tech. However, that’s not the case. The ability to type rapidly and accurately on a keyboard is something young people don’t necessarily develop on their own.
That’s because time spent on mobile devices has overtaken time spent on desktop and laptop computers for many youths. A 2019 study found that people in the age range of 10-19 and 20-29 had faster mobile typing speeds than older adults by at least 10 words per minute on average. While young people may be more efficient at typing with their thumbs on a smartphone, this skill doesn’t translate directly to typing on a QWERTY keyboard.
Keyboarding is a separate skill students need in order to succeed in their academic and professional careers. College-bound students should prepare for college-level writing, which will require them to type longer essays than they’ve encountered in K-12 contexts. Typing skills can also help students develop language skills that go beyond typing itself. A study of elementary students found that taking a touch-typing course improved typing skills as well as students’ spelling and narrative-writing skills.
As for students’ future careers, employers expect typing skills from office workers and a wide range of professionals. For example, one study found that medical residents spent nearly half their workday on a computer. Whether your child wants to become a journalist, computer programmer, lawyer, police officer, or any other number of occupations, they need typing skills. For jobs where typing plays a prominent role, job ads may require applicants to demonstrate their typing speed and accuracy through an online test.
Overall, students with deficient typing skills may experience limitations in their academic and professional futures, while students who are confident in their typing abilities will be able to handle writing assignments on a computer competently.
How Are Typing Skills Measured?
To help your child work on their typing skills, it helps to establish a baseline of their current abilities and measure progress over time. There are two ways you can measure typing skills:
- Speed: Speed is an important measure of a person’s typing proficiency. Specifically, speed is measured in the number of words per minute (WPM) a person can type. Generally, typing about 40 WPM is sufficient if you’re casually composing emails. Some jobs call for typists that can handle closer to 80 WPM. In a study of 168,000 volunteers, the average typing speed was 52 WPM, and the fastest participants typed 120 WPM.
- Accuracy: Anyone could type quickly if it didn’t matter which keys they struck and in what order. Of course, accuracy is a critical part of good typing skills. This means hitting the correct keys in the correct order with minimal interruptions to backspace and fix problems. Typing tests online can report both your child’s typing speed and their accuracy at that speed.
How to Improve Student Typing Skills
Considering the importance of typing skills, it’s worthwhile to help your child enhance their confidence and competency with a keyboard. Help your child succeed with these tips for learning typing:
- Motivate students with solid reasoning: Anyone, no matter their age, is more likely to give something their best if they see a good reason for it. Take a moment to explain the importance of typing skills to your child before trying to help them improve. Ask about the college major or career in which they’re interested and focus on some ways they may use typing in those contexts. Take an empowering tone to help students get excited about preparing for their futures.
- Try wacky typing challenges with your child: Did you know there is a Guinness World Record for the fastest nose typist? If your child is disinterested in typing practice or becomes frustrated with their abilities, take a break for some silly challenges like nose or elbow typing or typing their name with their eyes closed. You can try these challenges too, which can help level the playing field to create a sense of collaboration between parents who are experienced typists and children who are still learning.
- Have fun with typing games: There are lots of great typing games available that can help make typing practice for kids more fun. You’ll find some free typing games online, while others may be available for purchase. For young children, it may be more motivating to know that successfully typing a few sentences in the allotted time will award them a virtual prize or get them to the next level than to know it will help them in their careers someday.
- Encourage practice and celebrate progress: As with most skills, consistent practice is the key to success when it comes to typing. Remind your child that progress comes with time and dedicated practice, so it’s normal if they don’t see improvement right away. Help them set realistic and measurable goals and check in on their typing speed and accuracy periodically so you can celebrate each new achievement and encourage them to keep at it.
- Make it personal: Allowing learners to master skills at their own pace and on their own terms is the best way to help kids type better. Each learner is different and may find that different tools work best for them. Be flexible with your child — if a certain game or exercise doesn’t seem to engage them or help them improve, try something new. Give your child some choices so they can take an active role in choosing how to practice their typing.
CCA’s Personalized Learning Resources
At Commonwealth Charter Academy (CCA), we believe in the power of personalized learning, which helps students learn better at a pace that works best for them. This concept holds true for typing practice and a wide range of educational contexts.
At CCA, our instructors understand the importance of personalized learning, including that it creates a safe environment where learners can make mistakes and try again. Students learn in different ways and at different paces, and that is perfectly normal. Helping students individually can empower them to master concepts and skills and enhance their confidence.
Learn More About Commonwealth Charter Academy
If you’re located in Pennsylvania and are interested in cyber charter school for your child, read more about CCA on our website. Contact us today to learn more about how CCA’s personalized learning approach can help set students up for success.