Improve or Maintain Computer Keyboarding Skills
— by Sean Spencer, Software Development Expert and Author
Why is learning how to type important?
So many jobs require you to type – and the faster, the better! There are secretaries, data entry technicians and writers who need to be experts with typing, but then there are doctors, construction workers and lawyers who need type quickly as well. Learning how to do this the right way can be frustrating, but with some practice you can get your typing up to speed so that you are faster with a keyboard than you are with writing things down.
So, let's start typing. First look at your feet.
What does typing have to do with your feet? Are they both flat on the floor? If they are not you could be putting strain on your back.
Ergonomics is something that adults think about a lot. Typing badly or with bad posture can lead many adults to have problems with their wrists, backs and knees. You might not feel any pain or discomfort now – but just wait a few years. Practicing good posture now when typing can break bad habits and can avoid a lot of muscle pain. Make sure both feet are on the floor. Your hands, wrists and forearms should be straight. Many people naturally allow their wrists to slump down, but work on keeping them elevated.
Now (lift those wrists) to start typing, place your fingers on the middle row of the keyboard. The pinky of your left hand, should fall on "a", your ring finger on "s", your middle finger on "d" and your pointer finger on "f". Your thumb loosely hovers over the space bar. On your right hand, your pinky should fall on ";", your ring finger on the "l", your middle finger on the "k" and your pointer finger on "j". Again, your thumb hovers over the space bar.
This is called the "home row". Your fingers will maintain this position. Typing above and below means extending one of your fingers from this position. Practice with just staying at the home row and typing "asdf jkl;".
To type with "g", wiggle your pointer finger from your left hand over one space. To type with "h" wiggle your pointer finger from you right hand.
To type with letters above or below the home row, we must wiggle the appropriate finger up or down from the home row. For instance, to type "w", wiggle your ring finger up one from the "s" position. To type "m", bring your pointer finger down from the "j" position.
When you are playing the games below, make sure you are using all of your fingers in this way. Also, make sure you are using good posture and always try to play the games without looking down at the keyboard.
You will be up to speed in no time!
A British goat will teach proper keyboarding techniques and interact as you type certain simple words. Choose higher difficulties as you improve! There are musical prompts as well.
Peter's Online Typing Course
By clicking each typing lesson on the left, you will learn how to type and every single key. Each lesson includes a picture, instructions and a game!
Learn Typing – Free Typing Lessons
Click each typing lesson to practice each row. This site also has an advanced lessons section.
This is a great interactive tool to make you type faster and faster!
Much like the others, learn how to do the home row and add new keys bit by bit.
Pictures of where your fingers are supposed to be for selected letters.
Scratch Typing Game (Requires Flash)
Click the flag and try to type all of the letters on the screen as fast as you can.
Find the Letter
Try to press each letter on the keyboard and match as many as you can within 30 seconds without missing any! Can you do it without looking down at your keyboard?
Simple games like this are very important to practice! Choose the lessons in order and practice for each row/topic.
E-Learning Alien Typing Game
Interact with an alien named "Blob" and his friend, who will walk you through a course in keyboarding.
Fun to Type
Fun to type has a list of really neat games that you can practice typing with. Keyboard ninja, clock words and typing monster are among them!
This game includes a paragraph which you will want to copy. This site has some other fun games as well.
In this game, you will zoom on an airplane with your typing skills!
Keyboard Zoo (YouTube)
This is an easier typing game which animals of the zoo help you through.
Slimekids Typing Games
Another list of really fun typing games like Super Hyper Spider Typer and Type Type Revolution.
Keyboard and Typing Tips
Some general bits of advice for a new typist.
Ergonomics – Good Working Positions
These are good posture practices and recommended sitting positions for when you are typing. Remember to raise your wrists off of your desk.
Safety Instruction – Keyboard and Mouse Use
Here is more ergonomics and advice to prevent injury.
The Importance of Typing
An article about the importance of this computer skill.
Teaching Guide – Typing Pal
In PDF form, this is a good thing to print out and look at as you are learning.
Business Education Publications and Resources
Here are some presentations and charts to look at!
Learning Disabilities and Written Expression
If you have been trying for hours upon hours and after about two weeks you are still having real trouble, not just with typing but also with writing things down, have a parent talk to you and help you. It's possible that you may have dysgraphia or another learning disorder that can be a stumbling block for your progress.
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