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Keyboarding Without Tears

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on 26 March 2015

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Transcript of Keyboarding Without Tears

Does keyboarding mean we are giving up on writing?
Keyboarding Without Tears

What is it?
Keyboarding Without Tears is an effective, game-based curriculum for
students in grades K–5
and adapts to the developmental progression of writing. It teaches
pre-keyboarding and keyboarding skills alongside general computer readiness,
digital citizenship, and digital literacy.
When is typing beneficial to the child?

Three Phases of Keyboarding
Advantages of Typing

Absolutely not! Rather than thinking about one method or the other, we need to think
about the
two skills as developing in parallel
. If a child learns to ride a scooter, they can
still learn to ride a bicycle. The rules about cars, helmets and stop signs are the same
and both are means of transportation that children enjoy. The effort and balance
required, and the choice of timing for each method might differ.
Typing and writing are two socially acceptable ways to produce written work. Children
need to know how to do both. Although computers are widely accepted in our society,
it is
not always possible, desirable or convenient to use a computer
. Children will
always need to be able to write their names, their homework lists or reminder notes
with some proficiency. A healthy balance needs to be achieved.
Study Three: Relationships Between Handwriting and Keyboarding Performance of Sixth-Grade Students
Study Four: Keyboarding and Visual-Motor Skills in Elementary Students: A Pilot Study
Study Five: Assistive Technology and Handwriting Problems: What do Occupational Therapists Recommend?
To determine whether there is a correlation between handwriting and keyboarding speed and accuracy, and whether handwriting and keyboarding share common underlying components.
Study One: Predicting Occupational Performance- Handwriting Versus Keyboarding
This study used a qualitative and client-centred research approach. Current and past clients of a writing aids clinic at an urban Children’s Treatment Centre were invited to participate in the study by an information letter mailed to homes. Inclusion criteria included being between the ages of 8 and 20 years, having the ability to communicate verbally in English, having used a computer for a minimum of two years, having a diagnosis of a physical or developmental disability contributing to fine motor problems, and current use of a computer at school or home. Exclusion criterion was the use of non-traditional methods to engage in computer activities (such as the use of voice activated software or an adapted keyboard). One in-depth interview was conducted at the home of each participant. Interviewed 15 individuals between the ages of 5 and 20. Diagnoses included: cerebral palsy, spina bifida (with and without hydrocephalus), fine motor dyspraxia and fine/grossmotor dysfunction.

This study examined the relationships between sixth-grade students’ handwriting speed and legibility and their keyboarding speed and error rate. A second purpose was to examine how well handwriting performance discriminates students as slow or fast in computer keyboarding.
The purpose of this pilot study was to investigate the effect of a structured keyboarding (typing) program on visual-motor (eye-hand coordination) and written communication skills in children enrolled in second grade public school classrooms.
The objective of this survey research was to describe the technology-related recommendations and factors involved in the decisions made by Canadian occupational therapists for the children.
Keyboarding seems to be an
effective option for those struggling with handwriting. Meaningful experiences produce greater results.
How Does Keyboarding Without Tears Work ?
Keyboarding Without Tears
Overview of the Program:
How Can I access Keyboarding Without Tears?
Broken Down By Grade Level
The graphics in Keyboarding Without Tears are
simple and correspond to the Handwriting Without Tears
program. This can be particularly useful for kindergarten and 1st grade students to reinforce letter recognition. In addition, many of the pre-keyboarding lessons integrate visual scanning and figure ground activities while developing fine motor and mouse skills.

Keyboarding Without Tears is
unique in that it also teaches digital citizenship
. Lessons teach students about digital information, protection, consideration, and communication. These are all critical skills for students to learn.

Uses color-coded rows to teach proper finger key associations versus using column learning. It also has
students learn keys using one hand at a time
. It does not incorporate bilateral typing until students progress through an array of single-handed drills. However, during the single-handed “Target Practice” drills, students are required to hold down the ‘f’ key while typing with their right hand or the ‘j’ key while typing with their left hand. This helps students keep their non-typing hand engaged and promotes bilaterality.

The program
does not track typing speed or accuracy
, nor does it show which keys the user is having difficulty with.
Available online and in the app store- iPad use only
Screener of Handwriting Proficiency (free)- takes 10 to 15 minutes
Wet-Dry-Try Suite App
From Pencils to Keyboards:
Written Production in the Digital Classroom
Bought as a one-year license
Can be purchased as a pack (KWT + HWT Book)
KWT One-Year License- $10
KWT + HWT Book- $16.50
Products are sold separately by grade
Digital Citizenship
Sample Lessons
Additional Keyboarding Programs to Consider:
An innovative approach to typing
By: Allison Dishman, OTS
It is important to look at the performance components of handwriting and keyboarding. Will the reasons the child experiences handwriting difficulties also affect keyboarding?
Children who struggle to write may also struggle to type if they have delayed motor skills and/or difficulty with reading and spelling. It is important to determine what skill negatively impacts handwriting and if that same skill is needed for successful typing.
Keyboarding may be a potential alternative for written communication when accuracy and legibility are an issue.
What needs to be present for Keyboarding to be Useful?
Child relies on visual feedback. The learner looks at their fingers or at the screen immediately after hitting a key.
Child relies on kinesthetic cues.
Child relies primarily on kinesthetic feedback.
The process must be automatic and students must reach a typing speed at least equivalent to their handwriting speed. The University of Washington reported that students must be able to type 10-12 words per minute for typing to be an effective method for written expression. Multiple resources correlate handwriting speed with typing speed; in general, those who write more quickly will develop keyboarding skills more quickly. A study of 300 children in primary school showed a high correlation between handwriting and keyboarding speed, with handwriting speed consistently faster than keyboarding speed across all ages (Connelly et. al, 2007). Typing must be automatic so the student can free their cognitive process for composing, rather than for the motor skill of typing.
Study Two: Understanding the Development of
Keyboarding Skills in Children with Fine Motor Difficulties
This study was conducted to develop a greater understanding of the process of development of keyboarding skills in children with fine motor difficulties.
Computers/word processors have several advantages over pencil and paper for the
child who struggles with written work. The task demands are significantly lower in

In order to type a letter, the child needs to:
• isolate a finger
• recognize the letter
• locate the letter on the keyboard
• press the key.

When typing, the page doesn’t move around when the child writes and the letter
appears formed and placed correctly. The distance that the key moves up and down,
the layout of the keyboard and the location of the letter stays the same.

Sixty-three typically developing 5th-grade students attended a series of 15 keyboarding lessons for a total of 5 hours. Prior to the lessons, cognitive, sensory, and motor skills related to handwriting were evaluated. Prior to and following the lessons keyboarding and handwriting accuracy and speed were also tested. Correlations were employed to examine relationships between handwriting and keyboarding skills and multiple regression analyses were used to examine the contribution of performance components to handwriting and keyboarding performance.
Following keyboarding instruction, a significant correlation was found between handwriting and keyboarding speed, but not in accuracy of these tasks. Similarly, some of the specific tests measuring tactile and oculo-motor functions were found to be related to both handwriting and keyboarding speed. It appears that handwriting and keyboarding accuracy may entail different skills, suggesting that keyboarding may be a potential alternative writing tool for students with handwriting difficulties. It also appears that when students write slowly, handwriting speed should be considered prior to recommending keyboarding for these students.
Touch-typing is difficult for children with fine motor difficulties.
Ten finger touch-typing is a gold standard that may not be very effective
Hunt-and-Peck can be a functional way of keyboarding
Engagement in meaningful keyboarding activities is the best way to learn keyboarding
After participation in a school-required keyboarding class, 40 sixth-grade students were asked to copy a familiar poem using handwriting and keyboarding. Handwriting legibility and speed and keyboarding speed and errors were measured. Relationships among these variables were analyzed using Pearson product-moment correlations and discriminant analysis.
Keyboarding speed correlated with handwriting legibility, suggesting that handwriting performance accounts for 12% to 13% of the variance in keyboarding performance. Handwriting speed and legibility together accurately categorized 71% of students as slow or fast in keyboarding. On average, students were able to keyboard faster than handwrite. Of the 20 slowest handwriters, 75% achieved more text production with keyboarding than with handwriting.
Sixty-six children participated in the study. Thirty-two children received typing instruction on a daily basis for eight months and thirty-four students served as control children receiving no formal instruction.
Results of a mixed ANOVA with repeated factor showed a significant difference in visual-motor abilities in students who received keyboarding instruction as compared to control children. In addition, average typing speeds approached handwriting speeds at this grade level. These preliminary results support the use of keyboarding as a compensatory handwriting approach in the classroom. Further investigation of the use of keyboarding for students with milder disorders such as learning disabilities was recommended.
More therapists recommended the use of keyboard-based strategies (93%) than dictation-based strategies (72%). Experienced therapists were more likely to prescribe technology tools. Dictation to a scribe (93%) and desktop computers (89%) were the strategies most frequently recommended. The results confirmed that occupational therapists prescribe a range of technology solutions. Factors influencing these recommendations differ depending on the nature of the technology, the person, environment or occupation.
Typing Club
Typing Pal
Typing Web
Dance Mat Typing
Fun to Type

Keys for Me
Grade: Kindergarten
Activities that develop fine motor skills, introduce keyboard and mouse functions, and reinforce handwriting skills with typing games.

My Keying Board
Grade: 1
Dive into first grade lessons with game-based tools for
finger dexterity, finger-key association, and typing letters
and words. Students collect awards as they progress through the keyboarding map.

Key Power
Grade: 2
Engaging keyboard activities to build muscle memory. Complete the teaching of the entire keyboard and build skills through practicing common letter combinations, frequently used short words, and sentences.
Grade: 3
Third grade starts with review and mastery of second grade work. It quickly moves into introducing number and function keys, formatting, and writing paragraphs. Students will reinforce their fine motor memory and increase their accuracy.

Keyboarding Success
Grade: 4
Succeed in keyboarding with speed and fluency. The typing activities strengthen muscle memory in frequently used
combinations. Activities enhance language arts and creative
writing instruction.

Can-Do Keyboarding
Grade: 5
Your students will develop the accuracy and speed necessary
to handle the demands of schoolwork and testing in higher grades. Learn about interesting subjects with paragraphs and creative writing opportunities.
Workshop Fee:
*Early ($165) Regular ($200)
* Sign up at least 30 days prior to workshop.

Includes 3.5 Contact Hours and $170 in free materials.

Digital Teaching Tools (1-year license)
Wet-Dry-Try® Suite App (1-year license)
Keyboarding Without Tears™ (1-year license for each grade, K-5)
Electronic Teacher's Guide (1-year license for each grade, K-4)

Digital Information:

Introducing technology by showing and explaining how computers and tablets are used
Digital Protection:
Explain access and boundaries of technology for personal, home, and school use
Digital Consideration:
Respect the work and words that belong to others; use respectful words in your own work
Digital Communication:
Show different ways to communicate; choose the best way for different situations

**Emphasized throughout all grade levels
Full transcript