Fulton schools develop K-5 keyboarding program

With an increasing emphasis on technology in the classroom and state assesments going digital, computer skills have become an important part of a student’s skill set.

With that in mind, the Fulton School Board heard a presentation from a team of elementary teachers Wednesday night regarding a new keyboarding program for kindergarten through fifth grade.

Bartley third grade teacher Erica Hogan and kindergarten teacher Katie Finley, Bush kindergarten teacher Whitney Eastwood and McIntire first grade teacher Megan Metz — who all are working on their specialists degrees at William Woods University — presented the plan they have worked on with Assistant Superintendent Suzanne Hull.

Metz said starting keyboarding at the early elementary level is important because “we’re getting more technology every year in our classrooms.”

“We need to provide (students with) the foundational skills,” she said before making reference to the assessment tests that now will be all online. “We want to make sure our students are equipped to take those tests successfully.”

The presentation also said teaching keyboarding early will “transform computers in the classroom into learning tools and create efficient 21st Century learners.”

Under the program, students would learn and practice keyboarding and computer skills using a series of free online programs: Keyboarding Zoo, which works on alphabet recognition and learning the keyboard; Dance Mat, which uses auditory and visual learning to work on key locations and posture; and Typing Web, which is multi-functional, collects data and provides immediate feedback on student performance. The keyboarding instruction would take place during library time.

The teaching team also recommended providing a link on the district’s website that gives parents additional typing activities that would serve as enrichment for what students would be doing for school.

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