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Thread: Learning to type

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    know nothing pensive_pilgrim's Avatar
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    Learning to type

    Senior-level microcontroller class, maybe 100 students, instructor asks "how many of you would consider yourselves touch typists, as in you can type without looking?"

    Less than half the class raises their hands

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    Meae Musae Servus Hephaestus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pathogenetic_peripatetic View Post
    Senior-level microcontroller class, maybe 100 students, instructor asks "how many of you would consider yourselves touch typists, as in you can type without looking?"

    Less than half the class raises their hands
    Wow. Granted, I discovered I was a touch typist entirely by accident, but still. How do they type in the dark like normal people? Do they rely on backlit keys?
    Most of time, when people ask why something terrible happened, they don't realize they are looking for someone to blame.

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    Homo siderius Sistamatic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pathogenetic_peripatetic View Post
    Senior-level microcontroller class, maybe 100 students, instructor asks "how many of you would consider yourselves touch typists, as in you can type without looking?"

    Less than half the class raises their hands
    That's crazy. I'll ask my freshman bio classes tomorrow and see if it is a fluke.
    Insults are effective only where emotion is present. -- Spock, "Who Mourns for Adonais?" Stardate 3468.1.

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    Homo siderius Sistamatic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hephaestus View Post
    Wow. Granted, I discovered I was a touch typist entirely by accident, but still. How do they type in the dark like normal people? Do they rely on backlit keys?
    Over years of teaching, I've developed the ability to write on a dry erase board behind me so I can face the class and talk and make eye contact while writing, all without obstructing the view of what I'm writing, but I never consciously thought about what I was doing until I overheard a group of students in lab marveling about it while they were doing an experiment. While they were waiting for their experiment to come out of the water bath, they took turns trying to replicate my feat on the board. Turns out it is really hard. Funny thing is, now that I think about it, I remember writing on a board even while facing it and not talking being very awkward when I first started teaching. Now my dry-erase board over the shoulder while talking penmanship is as good as my regular pen and paper penmanship.

    But if you had just come out and asked me if I could do it, I'd have probably said no. And if I start thinking too hard about it while I'm doing it, it all falls apart.

    Anyway, I wonder how many of them can touch type and just don't realize it.
    Insults are effective only where emotion is present. -- Spock, "Who Mourns for Adonais?" Stardate 3468.1.

    I'm not avoiding socializing I'm helping socializing avoid me! --MoneyJungle

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    Hasta Siempre Madrigal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hephaestus View Post
    Wow. Granted, I discovered I was a touch typist entirely by accident, but still. How do they type in the dark like normal people? Do they rely on backlit keys?
    Yes.

    Our generation formally learned to type. It's not like that anymore because kids use computers much earlier and basically teach themselves.
    Everything under heaven is in utter chaos; the situation is excellent. - Mao

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    Meae Musae Servus Hephaestus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sistamatic View Post
    Over years of teaching, I've developed the ability to write on a dry erase board behind me so I can face the class and talk and make eye contact while writing, all without obstructing the view of what I'm writing, but I never consciously thought about what I was doing until I overheard a group of students in lab marveling about it while they were doing an experiment. While they were waiting for their experiment to come out of the water bath, they took turns trying to replicate my feat on the board. Turns out it is really hard. Funny thing is, now that I think about it, I remember writing on a board even while facing it and not talking being very awkward when I first started teaching. Now my dry-erase board over the shoulder while talking penmanship is as good as my regular pen and paper penmanship.

    But if you had just come out and asked me if I could do it, I'd have probably said no. And if I start thinking too hard about it while I'm doing it, it all falls apart.

    Anyway, I wonder how many of them can touch type and just don't realize it.
    Quote Originally Posted by Madrigal View Post
    Yes.

    Our generation formally learned to type. It's not like that anymore because kids use computers much earlier and basically teach themselves.
    I throw that off a wee bit because my dad was a computer programmer. My computer access at an early age pales these days when elementary kid have smartphones, but still. I had early access.

    I do remember some formal typing classes though. My fourth grade teacher in particular was very gung ho about kids learning to type on computers. It was probably pretty progressive and forward thinking of her. I remember the computer labs in elementary and middle school both used Apple IIe's.

    I also remember being abysmal at the typing tutor program. It gave us bullshit words. It challenged us to master letter by letter typing because it was all:

    lji geut vbd sykkl pidf vbde. Aeds tbrdf dffg uio ewtcr bvrt gny hyffrd, fbtf juhgf fd hthg d!

    Etc. That was in part because they were using a gradual structured approach that brought you from using one finger with your hands o home to full fluency from home row--one finger at a time. This meant there were many lessons that couldn't include words.

    It also meant they taught me wrong--at least from how I now think of what I type. I rarely type letters, I type words. But maybe I underestimate the need for the atomistic start.

    I just know I was a two finger hunt and peck typist (still handy with touchscreens...grr) until gaming helped reinforce the advantages of being on the keyboard and being able to push buttons without looking away from the screen. From there I started getting into a hybrid mode where I'd hunt and peck as needed, but keep my hands in the proper place. And one day, I realized my 'as needed' moments were for special characters only.

    It was a revelation. I tested myself and was ecstatic. I could now type when my eyes were burning from being up so long.

    Still, our generation didn't formally learn to type by comparison to how our parents formally learned. That shit was formal.
    Most of time, when people ask why something terrible happened, they don't realize they are looking for someone to blame.

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    Hasta Siempre Madrigal's Avatar
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    Heph, agreed on the last part. xD And we seem to have had the same 4th grade experience.

    I don't look at the keys all that much, but I never really incorporated the touch-typing lessons; I always had the feeling I was the exception and not the rule (I was a terrible student for other things too). I guess computer games provide kids today with a training I hadn't considered, though.
    Everything under heaven is in utter chaos; the situation is excellent. - Mao

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    Member MoneyJungle's Avatar
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    I was formally taught typing in the military. I took a keyboarding class in high school that was taught by a teacher who was about to retire and didn't care (perish the thought of an educator not giving a shit, like anybody else). I think I got a c and the only work I did was learn to type that sentence about the brown fox for the final, which I subsequently forgot. Now I touch-type the letters and the right pinky punctuation. You'd think I'd have less typographical errors. Unfortunately, I type faster than my brain thinks. My brain runs at the speed 'cursive,' which is waaaaay more obsolete than touch-typing.

    Glimpses do ye seem to see of that mortally intolerable truth; that all deep, earnest thinking is but the intrepid effort of the soul to keep the open independence of her sea; while the wildest winds of heaven and earth conspire to cast her on the treacherous, slavish shore?

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    Homo siderius Sistamatic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hephaestus View Post
    Still, our generation didn't formally learn to type by comparison to how our parents formally learned. That shit was formal.
    Typing class was required when I was in junior high/high school, but I refused to learn because I didn't want to become a secretary, and at the time, that was pretty much what the skill was for. Women were supposed to get their WPM up so they'd be employable and any profession that involved a woman typing sounded like the most boring shit in the universe. So I just flat refused. I came up with all kinds of lame excuses as to why it wasn't possible for me to learn to type.

    After I failed out of college in 1990 (I went back and made straight A's. Shut up. :P), I did JTPA because I wanted to learn to weld. I applied for welding training, told them my ASVAB scores on mechanical comprehension and Assembling objects (all 99s), specifically said I was not interested in the only other option, secretary training, and didn't find out until the last minute that they had decided I didn't "look like I could handle the physical demands." Fuckers. I really am pissed to this day that I didn't get welding training.

    But since the fucking thing paid and I was between jobs, I went to the secretary training. I was 18 or 19. The curriculum was touch typing all day long, 6 hours with 30 minutes for lunch, with occasional guest speakers in how to apply makeup, fix hair, dress like a secretary, and a module on how to file alphabetically, and some other modules on stuff like how to write in a day planner and whatnot. I finished every module in the first week, then for the rest of the entire time, I sat at a fucking typewriter (not a computer) all day long and did typing exercises from a workbook for three months. OMG, the pain. But not only did I learn to touch type, finally, I am really fast at it. I can also touch type on an adding machine (talk about your outdated skills). We were expected to dress professionally. oof.

    The head honcho was this sixty something miss manners bitch with a beehive and the looongest slooooowest suuuuthuun draaaaawl. She called everyone "honey" except me. Many grades were entirely subjectively given by her. I made perfect marks on all quantitative items, and the lowest possible "D" on everything else. Granted I didn't do my part to make her like me. Me completing all her fucking sacred ass modules in rapid succession in the self paced study plan after she made this long boring speech about how if we worked oh so very hard we might manage to learn all she had to teach us, well that pissed her off. I also mentioned that I really wanted to be in welding. That probably didn't help. Believe it or not, I used to be even less tactful than I am now. Ha.

    Meanwhile, next door, there was a beautiful, well funded, well equipped machine shop where people were getting paid to learn to weld professionally.

    I graduated, got a job in a foundry (as a wax welder, ha...irony), then went back to college like a year later.

    A few years later when I got my first computer, I was glad I learned to type.
    Insults are effective only where emotion is present. -- Spock, "Who Mourns for Adonais?" Stardate 3468.1.

    I'm not avoiding socializing I'm helping socializing avoid me! --MoneyJungle

  10. #10
    Senior Member jyng1's Avatar
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    Learning to type is about exactly as boring as learning to weld (trust me, I've done both).

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