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Keyboarding Arts Learning Theory

In: Computers and Technology

Submitted By wmmorgan
Words 576
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Keyboarding Arts Learning Theory

Traditional computer keyboarding classes are so … British! We sit still with our feet on the floor, backs against our chairs, and eyes straight ahead. Basically, we sit at attention! Some students do well at mastering this traditional method for keyboarding, measured by speed and accuracy tests. However, an innovative multi-cultural approach to computer literacy utilizes Total Physical Response, using various body parts (gross motor movement) to act out a word or word phrase to be learned. TPR has been used to teach students learning second languages. Pre-Keys uses TPR to guide students as they explore letter patterns on the QWERTY computer keyboard.

Dr. Morgan, the developer of Pre-Keys, invites children to sing and dance and play a form of the popular Twister game as they use their hands and feet to select letters on the oversized vinyl QWERTY keyboard. Observers then try to guess the word (taken from the weekly word list for each grade level). Another variation is displaying a list of words (such as a Spelling list) using PowerPoint with the participants (students) poking or slapping or stepping on the letters. Beginning students (learning English as a Second Language) start with simple letter recognition, saying the names as they hop on letters in rows, in columns, and in alphabetical order.

Pre-Keys was so named to describe a series of activities that early childhood teachers might use to teach children as early as preschool age, best taught in small groups. The name soon evolved to include anyone who had not been formally trained to use all of their fingers to “type” or “key” their own name, teaching good posture before students develop bad habits (hunting and pecking). Basically, the author encourages students to explore and discover the patterns on the computer keyboard, using mnemonics to develop visual memory before they enter the drill for skill (muscle memory) portion of their instruction. Not stopping there, the author encourages students to proofread for “typos” and edit for meaning before hitting the PRINT or SEND BUTTON.

Learning theories applied to Pre-Keys include Behaviorism, Cognitivism, and Constructivism. Behaviorism is most common in keyboarding classes and computer games, requiring students to learn the home row position and reach up or curl down as they drill the keystrokes on each row of letters. Students are rewarded by being allowed to play games when they have reached the goal speed and accuracy. Teachers using Cognitivist theory lead their students to actually look at the computer keyboard as they learn patterns that make logical sense. Students develop mental patterns using mnemonics as they learn which groups of letters are assigned to the left and which to the right hand and which groups of letters follow alphabetical order. Constructivists are tutors or discussion leaders who ask questions to guide their students in discovering words and phrases that fit the patterns found on the QWERTY keyboard. Students in each group “show what they know” using word processing software.

References

Cognitive Theories of Learning. Retrieved May 10, 2014 from http://www.personal.psu.edu/users/w/x/wxh139/cognitive_1.htm#major Early Childhood Keyboarding Research Proposal. Retrieved May 10, 2014, from http://keyboardingarts.org/2014/02/12/pre-keys-research-proposal/

Mergel, B. (1998). Instructional Design and Learning Theory. Retrieved May 10, 2014 from http://heybradfords.com/moonlight/files/CV/ProfSampleFiles/RWD%20-%20Internal%20iVision%20Training/iVisioneLearning/Reference_Resources/ISD_Introduction/ISD_History/ISDHistory_1/education/coursework/802papers/mergel/brenda.htm

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