What are the benefits of learning to touch type?

Have you ever tried typing with two fingers?   I just had a go and it’s quite a slow and tiring process.   Now try typing with more fingers.   That’s a bit faster.   Now imagine learning to type with all your fingers, starting from a central position and  also, learning to type without looking down.   How fast do you think you might be able to go then?

So why should we learn to touch type?

  1. You can type so much faster when you learn how to position and use all your fingers properly.   This can save you a lot of time when working, typing notes or essays, taking  dictation or typing in an exam!
  2. Not looking down saves your neck muscles and posture as you don’t need to keep bobbing your head up and down looking for keys.  It also saves fatigue as you don’t have to focus on two things at the same time.
  3. Apart from posture, using all your fingers can save you from repetitive stress injuries when typing.
  4. You can gain better job prospects.   For a lot of jobs, touch typing is a definite advantage on your CV.
  5. If you are not bobbing your head up and down, you can notice grammatical and spelling errors a lot more easily.  You don’t have to stop and read what you have written on the screen.

When is the best age to learn?

 You can learn to touch type at any age, but the longer you leave it, the more bad habits you may pick up and have to “unlearn”.   When a child reaches age 7, their hands are about the right size, they tend to like computers and have the focus to learn.   Learning to touch type can save time on school work, University essays and in the work place.

Can children and adults with Dyslexia and Dyspraxia touch type?

Typing can actually be very beneficial to children and adults with Dyslexia and Dyspraxia and to others that find hand writing and spelling tricky.

There is no distraction caused by forming letters. Spelling mistakes can easily be made and corrected without rubber marks and crossings out.

For Dyslexics, written work can be difficult but touch typing is a totally different process in the brain compared to writing with a pen.  It has more in common with dancing, swimming, playing sport or an instrument. Touch typing becomes an unconscious physical skill.

Spelling becomes a series of patterns and finger movements not a string of letters to try to remember.  Words are programmed into the muscle memory – you think the word and your fingers type it, you don’t think about how to spell it, it “just happens” as the unconscious controls the process.

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