Teaching Keyboard Skills in Kindergarten


By October 2013, in the forty-five states, the District of Columbia, and four territories of the United States that adopted the Common Core State Standards Initiative children as early as kindergarten were learning to use a keyboard—a radical change in the traditional order of teaching handwriting long before typing.      

"A skill that has been taught for generations in middle or high school — first on manual typewriters, then electric word processors and finally on computer keyboards — is now becoming a staple of elementary schools. Educators around the country are rushing to teach typing to children who have barely mastered printing by hand.

"The Common Core standards make frequent references to technology skills, stating that students in every grade should be able to use the Internet for research and use digital tools in their schoolwork to incorporate video, sound and images with writing.

"But the standardized tests linked to the Common Core make those expectations crystal clear because the exams — which will be given in 2014-2015 — require students to be able to manipulate a mouse; click, drag and type answers on a keyboard; and, starting in third grade, write online. Fourteen states have agreed to field-test the exams in the spring to help those creating the tests iron out the wrinkles and make improvements" (http://wapo.st/1ci9YSR, accessed 10-14-2013).

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