Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Soon A S D F and ; L K J Will Be M.I.A.

When email was in it's hay day (not that long ago) middle schoolers who started typing class, came in at 70 words per minute.  Why wouldn't they?  That was their main form of communication and typing teachers worldwide were happy.  Now however, with cell phones in 1 out of 6 grade schooler's hands and texting can be done blindfolded, typing appears to be evolving right before our eyes... er... our screens.

The hunt n peck typing technique reminds me of my dad clacking away with a steady speed on his heavy cast iron Royal typewriter.  Great for multiple layers of carbon invoices.  He was fast but not nearly as fast as my mom on her electric Smith Corona.  Her fingers looked robotic with their speed and accuracy. Shock and awe!

I've been closely observing my two elementary age children on the computer these last few months, with curiosity.  I've tried to teach them to use the traditional finger placement of A S D F and ; L K J on the keyboard.  Works for me and it's what I was taught in Jr. high and I'm fast as hell on the keyboard.   My 6th grade son types his own book reports and tries to use the finger placement, however, when I've observed him hunt n peck, he's much faster and has fewer errors.  Hmmmmm.  My daughter, who is in 3rd, is typing with great accuracy and speed using the old hunt n peck method as she chats away on Club Penguin or any of her other kid based social networks.  My children are certainly in front of a keyboard more frequently and younger than I was.  Another hmmmm.

With all of the varying keyboards for phones... it's no wonder A S D F and ; L K J are harder than ever to get the hang of.  Especially with the phone keys being so small, using our thumbs seems to be the best solution.  Discussions with peers about using their phones to leave status updates/tweets/texts are certainly more prevalent than email.  This leaves me wondering... what will become of typing classes for children as we move forward? 

Will there be texting classes as opposed to typing?  I can hear it now... "Welcome 2 Txting 101 Plz Take Out UR Phones"

Will there be classes to learn texting language as opposed to regular writing classes?  (Every parent should sign up now so we can break the code and communicate with tweens and teens)

Will this shortened style of language ever be mainstream?  More like "when will it be?"  Check out this article regarding teacher concerns.  On the flip side, check out this blog stating completely the opposite.

Not only have we become extremely accessible, but we're far more efficient than ever before.  Whether you like it or not... our communication style is changing and it's kicked in to high gear with the generation who will be leading companies, solving world problems and becoming doctors in the next 10 years. 

Don't think too hard or too long about whether you should evolve too.  I think you should.  Mainly so you don't get left in its wake, but so you can continue to communicate with ALL generations.  Finally... we'll all be bilingual.    

What do you think?

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