Do they still teach typing in school?

Many people have become concerned that cursive is no longer being taught in school. I saw the effect of this when one of our high school interns had trouble transcribing a meeting attendance sheet because some of the names were written in cursive. As someone who rarely uses cursive except for my signature (which is really just an unreadable series of curved lines) I’m not that upset that schools no longer teach cursive. What I want to know is do they still teach typing in school?

“You type fast.”

A co-worker said that to me recently. He wasn’t the first. My typing speed is noticeable to people across a conference room or beyond a cube wall because I still type like I’m on a manual typewriter. That is, I hit the keys hard. You can hear it. This makes it fairly obvious how fast or slow I type, and compared to most people I type fast.

The only time my typing speed was measured I typed 80 words per minute. That’s not what would be considered a speed typist, but it is well above average. I can thank my junior high typing teacher for that typing speed.

I didn’t want to take typing in junior high. I wanted to take a computer class, but typing was a prerequisite. Since I had already been programming computers for years at that point I grumbled at this requirement, but I still had to suffer through my semester of practicing typing on manual typewriters.

The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog.

Whether I wanted to do it or not that class served me well. Being a speedy touch typist has been beneficial with schoolwork, creative writing, and my professional work. I know a lot of people who function perfectly well typing with two fingers, but I like being more efficient.

The argument against teaching cursive is that people don’t write much in longhand anymore. There is probably a similar argument against teaching typing. After all, so many things are touchscreens now (which don’t work well with touch typing much to my chagrin), and voice recognition software keeps getting better.

Despite the new technology I continue to be most comfortable composing on a conventional keyboard. Hunt and peck typists probably don’t have the same attachment as I do.

Years from now my children will probably be embarrassed by the fact I still insist in typing on a keyboard, but for now I will keep typing away no matter how quaint that may seem.

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