Did You Learn to Type Properly? Does It Matter?
You may have never learned to type. Maybe it wasn't offered to you in school. Or maybe you didn't have the need to type as you always had an assistant do it for you. For a variety of reasons, a good majority of my clients never learned and now I hear "I wish I had learned to type." Without having this skill, it can be difficult to communicate online these days. Sending a two sentence email may take an hour or more...really!
Today I taught a client of mine the difference between the Backspace key and the Delete key on the keyboard. As he used his mouse to move the cursor in between letters of words (to correct them), he sometimes didn't get the cursor in the right spot. He was accustomed to using the Backspace key, but depending on where the cursor was positioned, he would sometimes wind up removing the wrong letter. Another set of keys that proved to be confusing was the Shift and Caps Lock. When trying to make a capital letter, he'd use the Caps Lock key (why would anyone think to use the Shift key, if the Caps Lock key has the word CAPS on it?), but then all his letters would be uppercase. So once again, corrections needed to be made. Once he gets used to the layout of the letters on the keyboard and the functions of the other keys, he'll get better and better. For now, it's just hunt and peck and lots of corrections.
This session made me think of other clients I've worked with who also never learned to type and what they did to either learn, or get by. There are websites in which you can practice typing. One of my favorite sites is Keybr.com. Using simple combinations of letters, you can learn the correct finger positioning on the keyboard and test yourself, even try to improve your speed. This is called touch-typing, and is learning the correct way to type on a keyboard without actually looking at the keyboard while you type. However, many of my clients have become speed demons using the "hunt and peck" approach. With their eyes on the keyboard, they are able to quickly pick out and press the keys they need to form words and sentences. This seems to be what the majority of my clients end up doing, instead of learning touch-typing. And it's fine because it works!! For those who really can't see themselves using the keyboard or for just a different way of writing, there are dictation programs - you speak, the computer listens and puts your words into typed text for you! Pretty cool, huh? Dragon would be the one program I've used over the years with my clients and it can make such a difference! But other options exist as well, especially for typing on smartphones: Siri can be used on the iPhone and Apple computer, and Google has it's own dictation software. These are becoming more popular as less people learn to type and just don't have time to learn.
For more information on how I can help you or your loved one start communicating online, Contact Me. I am here to help and advise!