Many people think that it is OK typing with one or two fingers whilst looking down at the keyboard. What they don’t realise is that most touch typists can reach speeds that they could only dream about. A touch typist will achieve between 40 – 70 words per minute, some even more. That’s about twice the speed of someone who cannot touch type, and three times the average hand-writing speed.
In addition, because touch typists keep their eyes on the screen at all times, they correct their work as they go along, which saves even more time later. This means fewer errors and therefore greater all-round accuracy.
Touch typists also suffer far less neck and upper back pain that non touch typists experience, which is caused by endlessly looking downwards at the keyboard.
For pupils, faster typing obviously means increased output, but it delivers much more than that. When typing becomes a sub-conscious process, pupils are able to concentrate more on the content of their work rather than on the mechanics of getting it down. Their confidence will improve, they will have more time to consider and research their material and ultimately, the teacher will receive assignments that are legible every time – usually containing better grammar and spelling.
And last – but certainly not least – it won’t be long before pupils will be expected to sit many exams at a computer. Computerised exams can be automatically marked, they save paper and they can be submitted instantly online. That may be fine – but unless pupils can type fast and accurately, they could be seriously disadvantaged no matter how much they may have mastered the exam’s subject. For a pupil to fail an exam because they couldn’t type fast enough would be calamitous, and so unnecessary.