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Keyboarding Is an Essential Part of Curriculum
By: Art Willer

The more complicated the world becomes, the more our students need Readin’, ‘Ritin’ and ‘Rithmetic.

There is one additional basic students have to have: keyboarding. I call keyboarding the fourth R because it ranks alongside the other Rs in necessity and usefulness.

When a young friend was attending school, he voluntarily elected to take keyboarding. Despite being a gifted student, some teachers figured he was just trying to get an easy A. Why would he ever need this menial skill?

This young man saw the value of keyboarding to his immediate studies and to his future. Today, he drives a $200K car, lives in a $1.5M house and is the CTO for one of the fastest-growing web software producers in the world.

Getting a university degree, getting hired, and handing our typing to a secretary is an operational model that expired about 30 year ago. Today, we do our own typing or get out of the way for others who can. Keyboarding is a communication skill required by almost every job today.

Keyboarding is essential to school, too. In a time when teaching keyboarding in elementary schools was prohibited, a creative computer teacher taught it regardless. Her sins came to light when her students advanced to middle school. They ripped through the middle school curriculum so fast that the teachers had to create a special stream just for kids who could type. The school board lifted the ban so other students would have the same advantage.

Keyboarding skill is essential to GED qualification because states are initiating online writing tests. While the testing approach is recent, the need for keyboarding is not. For two decades, students who type well have used computers more, written more, got higher grades, and graduated with ease. The same good fortune has followed them to the workplace.

It is fair to ask whether keyboarding skill might soon be a thing of the past. The answer is no.

For 30 years, keyboard use has grown exponentially. With the advent of mobile computing, people with keyboarding skill have more readily adapted. People who want to be more productive with mobile devices get keyboards to go with them.

Contrary to the futurists who describe keyboards as archaic symbols of the past, keyboards have proven to be one of the most enduring tools ever invented right up there with the hammer and saw.

Keyboarding skill has endured long enough to earn top respect as a basic skill requirement. Let’s not let any student go home without it.

Art Willer is the founding president of Bytes of Learning Incorporated, www.bytesoflearning.com.

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