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Tips for Teaching Typing

Tips for Teaching Typing


With an ever-increasing focus on technology in our world, typing is a crucial skill.  Technology teachers are often asked to take the lead in typing instruction, or at least guide classroom teachers in their own efforts to teach typing.  Here are some of the most critically acclaimed programs to help get your students where they need to be!
With an ever-increasing focus on technology in our world, typing is a crucial skill.  Technology teachers are often asked to take the lead in typing instruction, or at least guide classroom teachers in their own efforts to teach typing.  Here are some of the most critically acclaimed programs to help get your students where they need to be!  


To get you started, check out these two resources:

Printable Keyboarding Expectations Poster (FREEBIE) 

Using a Keyboard Booklet 


Online Typing Tutors

Typing.com

Younger students will develop their fine motor skills and familiarity with the keyboard, while older students can improve their typing speed.


Typing Club

Typing Club is web based and highly effective. It is free for both individuals and schools, with an optional paid school edition.


TypeTastic!

TypeTastic School Edition allows you to track students' progress, customize study material and set up timed tests, and complete K-12 Keyboarding Curriculum with over 700 engaging activities.


Side Note:

If you are having issues with ads on a free typing website, consider using a Chrome extension called uBlock Origin. It blocks everything (including YouTube ads). Every once and a while you may have issues with websites displaying properly because the extension sees an image on the site as an ad in which case you simply disable it for those specific sites.


Have Tablets? These are iPad-friendly Typing Apps and Sites:

Practice with Typing Games

Nitro Type 

Compete in fast-paced races with up to 5 typists from around the world. Compete against your friends, earn new cars, track your scores, and more.


Typing Games Zone

Play 131 free keyboard games online.


FreeTypingGame.net 

Free games, lessons and typing tests.


Arcademics  

Three solid typing games you can use for extra practice.  This website is also a hub for educational games covering a wide variety of math skills as well as grammar and spelling practice, and every single game here is truly educational.

With an ever-increasing focus on technology in our world, typing is a crucial skill.  Technology teachers are often asked to take the lead in typing instruction, or at least guide classroom teachers in their own efforts to teach typing.  Here are some of the most critically acclaimed programs to help get your students where they need to be!


School-Wide Typing “Olympics”

During the last couple of months of the year, run a Typing Olympics (or something like it). Each grade could have a WPM and accuracy target (such as K = 5 WPM up to 6th = 35 WPM). Publicly post awards gold, silver, and bronze medals, and perhaps also include special medals for those "most improved" during the “Olympics” period. 

Check out this blog post I have on how I run a Typing Olympics.


Check out these Digital Typing Activities

As a technology teacher I'm always looking for ways to differentiate and reach my students where they are. The typing programs in this post are great, but many times students will need additional practice materials to master keyboarding. These are some resources I've created for that purpose:


Check out these Unplugged Typing Activities

File Folder Keyboard Activities 

Alphabet Keyboard Practice 

Typing Practice 

Fill in the Keyboard Letters

Keyboard Puzzles

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With an ever-increasing focus on technology in our world, typing is a crucial skill.  Technology teachers are often asked to take the lead in typing instruction, or at least guide classroom teachers in their own efforts to teach typing.  Here are some of the most critically acclaimed programs to help get your students where they need to be!


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Brittany Washburn
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Teaching Your Kids About Passwords

Teaching Your Kids About Passwords


Passwords are a part of life in the 21st century. Begin by taking time to talk to your students/kids explicitly about passwords.  It may seem like these basic concepts should go without saying, but every stable building has to be built on a strong foundation.
Passwords are a part of life in the 21st century. Begin by taking time to talk to your students/kids explicitly about passwords.  It may seem like these basic concepts should go without saying, but every stable building has to be built on a strong foundation. 

Cover things such as:

  • how passwords keep their digital identity and online goods safe
  • passwords should not be shared verbally
  • remember to log out and select not to save passwords on public computers

Passwords with young kids

You can start introducing the concept of passwords as early as preschool (all without even touching a device).  Try these ideas:

  • Don’t say the secret word (i.e. playing Taboo style games).

  • Make a fort and have an individualized secret password each child needs to enter

  • Practice using polite phrases as "passwords" for everyday actions.

  • Put kids in partners, then have them take turns thinking up "passwords" and making sure their partner can't guess it.

  • Suggest an at-home project: Parents keep a special snack in the pantry in a locked box.  If the  child forgets to lock up their treats again after eating one, the parents remove and hide the contents of the box.

Passwords are a part of life in the 21st century. Begin by taking time to talk to your students/kids explicitly about passwords.  It may seem like these basic concepts should go without saying, but every stable building has to be built on a strong foundation.

Passwords with school-age kids

Targeting lower-mid elementary students (but usable for any level that needs it), take a look at this comprehensive introductory lesson:

Powerful Passwords

This lesson from code.org has students explore why people use passwords, learn the benefits of using passwords, and discover strategies for creating and keeping strong, secure passwords


A picture book is also a great conversation starter. Check out Cici's Cellphone Circus: Passwords that I wrote.

Passwords tips for all

No matter what their grade level, secure passwords can be especially difficult for children to remember, so try this method to help your students have the best of both worlds:

  1. Have students begin by grabbing a pen and paper (or opening a note-taking app) to write down the ideas they come up with.

  2. First, demonstrate thinking of several one or two sentence phrases that your students can remember.  They can be centered around favorite foods, objects or activities.  They can also be lines from a favorite book or song.  Once they have their sentences, begin converting them into passwords.  Start by taking the first letter of each word and noting it.  Then think if any capitals were present in the sentences and replace those letters as capitals. Finally, check if and special characters can be applied, such as & for and, 2 for to and too, 4 for for, * for star, and @ for at.  

For example: 

Sentence: Jack and Jill went up the hill to fetch water

Password: J&Jwuth2fw 

Sentence: Chocolate ice cream is my favorite!  But I like vanilla too.

Password: cicimf!BIlv2

  1. You may also want to see if you can think of some sentences that may help students remember which website matches which password.  For instance, a password for abcya.com might be based on the sentence “C is for cookie, and that’s good enough for me”, and a password for youtubekids.com could be a lyric from their favorite song to listen to on YouTube.


Here are some more fun ideas for teaching and reviewing the concept:

Passwords are something you and your students will be forced to deal with, so hopefully these tips make things a bit less painful for everyone!



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Passwords are a part of life in the 21st century. Begin by taking time to talk to your students/kids explicitly about passwords.  It may seem like these basic concepts should go without saying, but every stable building has to be built on a strong foundation.



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Brittany Washburn
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Unplugged Technology Activities

Unplugged Technology Activities


No tech?  No problem!  Here are activities you can do 100% unplugged. Great for days when the WiFi is out or you don't have access to devices.

No tech?  No problem!  Here are activities you can do 100% unplugged. Great for days when the WiFi is out or you don't have access to devices.


K-12

Code.org 

  • In the sidebar, simply select “No computers or devices” under the “Classroom technology” heading for over 60 activities that can be done unplugged.


Coding Fairy Tales

  • Coding meets ELA instruction with VoCode! Turn students into robots to complete these fairy tale coding challenges. 3 Options for the activities mean that you can use this with ANY movable Bots and ANY grade level of students. 

This is a picture from a different set but it gives you the idea of how the cards work with the programmable robots.

Primary

Build Your Own Computer

  • Students assemble and color a paper computer, learning the name and function of each part as they go.


Typing Practice

  • Help your students learn where the keys are on the keyboard and begin developing typing habits with this coloring activity. Uppercase (windows and Mac) and Lowercase (Chromebook) keyboards provided. 


Trackpad Gestures

  • Students practice moving, clicking, swiping, scrolling, right-clicking, and clicking and dragging on paper work mats before they even get on a computer.



STEM Building Challenges

  • Get your students thinking like scientists with STEM challenges that have them building with candy, legos, or the classic spaghetti bridge.


Middle Elementary

Powerful Passwords

  • This lesson has students explore why people use passwords, learn the benefits of using passwords, and discover strategies for creating and keeping strong, secure passwords.


Fill in the Keyboard Letters

  • On each printable worksheet there are 3 keyboards for a total of 15 fill in the letters activities. 




Algorithm Activities

  • Teach students how to create and decompose Algorithms with these print and digital activities. 2 types of printable activities ask students to color pictures following an algorithm.


Upper Elementary

You Can Say That Again! - Text Compression

  • This collection of twenty activities is designed to aid the teaching and learning about data compression through engaging games and puzzles using cards, string, crayons and lots of running around.


Coding Quests

  • This board game practices If/Then/Else language while students move their robots characters through a path filled with obstacles.




Technology Vocabulary Word Searches

  • Students can keep their technology vocabulary terms in mind by completing word searches. 




No tech?  No problem!  Here are activities you can do 100% unplugged. Great for days when the WiFi is out or you don't have access to devices.
Middle School

Digital Citizenship Discussion Prompts

  • All Digital Citizenship Standards are addressed with these 42 task card style discussion prompts.




Keyboard Puzzles

  • With Cut and Paste Keyboard Puzzles it is deceptively tricky for students to cut the puzzle pieces and then find their places to create a completed keyboard.


Early High School

Crack the Code Puzzles

  • Binary Code, Hexadecimal, and Morse Code Encoded Messages with silly phrases as well as technology facts. These are still Tech lessons but on paper!




Sorting Networks

  • Use this CS Unplugged unit to have students explore how computers solve problems faster by having several computers work on different parts of the same task at the same time.


Late High School

Peruvian Coin Flip

  • This activity teaches Cryptographic protocols by showing how to accomplish a simple, but nevertheless seemingly impossible task—making a fair random choice by flipping a coin, between two people who don’t necessarily trust each other.


Science Lab Safety Mannequin Challenge

  • Join the mannequin challenge craze while practicing science lab safety! This resource walks your students through planning, rehearsing, filming, and reflecting on a mannequin challenge.


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No tech?  No problem!  Here are activities you can do 100% unplugged. Great for days when the WiFi is out or you don't have access to devices.

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Brittany Washburn
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15 Meaningful Activities for Short Lesson Periods in the Computer Lab

15 Meaningful Activities for Short Lesson Periods in the Computer Lab


Short lesson period for technology class? That’s no reason to give up on your students engaging in something meaningful in the computer lab!

Short lesson period for technology class? That’s no reason to give up on your students engaging in something meaningful in the computer lab!


Primary

Trackpad Gestures

  • Students practice moving, clicking, swiping, scrolling, right-clicking, and clicking and dragging on paper work mats before they even get on a computer.

Color by trackpad gestures

Mapping the Way Home

  • In this online activity, students use Google Maps to pinpoint their home address and get directions to and from school.


Exploring Pictographs

  • In this interdisciplinary lesson, students try to interpret what a set of pictographs --pictures that symbolize a word or concept -- really mean. They then "write" a few sentences using their own pictograph system.


Middle Elementary

Fill in the Keyboard Letters

  • On each printable worksheet there are 3 keyboards for a total of 15 fill in the letters activities.  With Cut and Paste Keyboard Puzzles it is deceptively tricky for students to cut the puzzle pieces and then find their places to create a completed keyboard.

Fill in the keyboard letters

Create your own Vocabulary Review

  • Students define 4-5 words, create crossword puzzles with a free online tool, and then share their puzzles for review purposes.



Upper Elementary

Technology Vocabulary Word Searches

  • Students can keep their technology vocabulary terms in mind by completing word searches. 


Word Processing Review

  • Review and assess basic word processing skills with this short pre-made assignment.


Middle School

Digital Citizenship Discussion Prompts

  • All Digital Citizenship Standards are addressed with these 42 task card style discussion prompts.


Digital citizenship discussion prompts
TedEd Lessons

  • Pick from over 200 videos about technology. Then use the provided discussion prompts, questions and other resources as time allows.


Programming Practice Writing

  • So much in programming depends on being exact.  Have students write sentences, common phrases, or even single words then change or eliminate one letter to change the meaning (i.e. startling > starting > staring > string > sting > sing > sin > in > I.).  Another version could be punctuating sentences differently in order to change the meaning!


Short lesson period for technology class? That’s no reason to give up on your students engaging in something meaningful in the computer lab!
Early High School

Crack the Code Puzzles

  • Binary Code, Hexadecimal, and Morse Code Encoded Messages with silly phrases as well as technology facts. These are still Tech lessons but on paper!


Hello World

  • A "Hello, World!" program is a computer program that outputs the message "Hello, World!". Such a program is very simple in most programming languages, and is often used by students learning the basic syntax of a programming language.


Judge a Book by its Cover

  • Students build visual literacy and engage in close reading as they investigate the text and imagery on book covers to make judgments about the content they might contain.


Late High School

Respond to a Podcast

  • Have your students listen to a news podcast and use a graphic organizer to record what they learn.


Introduce Tessellations

  • Students use the drawings of M.C. Escher, as well as online research, to deduce what tessellations are. Then each student creates tessellations from both regular and irregular polygons.


Short lesson period for technology class? That’s no reason to give up on your students engaging in something meaningful in the computer lab!

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Brittany Washburn
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