Similarly, learning to type is like that. It's such a necessary skill in today's world and one that is often picked up rather than strategically taught. Yet, with a little practice as often as possible, students build fluency and improve. I learned to type in 8th grade during a keyboarding course and to this day I am an excellent typist without looking at my fingers. I try to help students of all ages improve their typing skills because it will serve them well.
Today was my first time on the computers with the girls and I was pleasantly surprised with how well it went. I know they get regular computer instruction from a different volunteer and they had workbooks they showed me from school with basic computer terminology and parts. We reviewed some of that (by pointing to various parts of the computer and named each) and they are quite adept. They easily drag and drop, open a website, search, navigate around, and perform basic troubleshooting. Even our youngest first grader did great. The internet worked fast enough and overall today’s effort was a success.
Now that I have a better handle on where they’re at, I am excited about the possibilities of moving forward from here and building on what they already know. They, like most kids I’ve worked with, naturally gravitate to mindless games or searching for random images and the like. I’d like to motivate them to use the computers for learning and expanding and enriching.
We started with a review of basic terminology and a quiz. With the older girls, vocabulary included:
- World Wide Web
- Search Engine
Then I gave a pep talk on keyboarding and encouraged them to practice even a few minutes whenever they can.
I'm really looking forward to what's ahead with these amazing, bright, and motivated girls!