I’m sure I’ve talked about this before, but I’ll bring it up in case I haven’t… I think that school kids should be chatting… at least for learning how to type. What better way to find out where the keys are, and how to speed up your typing skills? For me, when I was learning how to type, chatting was the thing that frustrated me the most. I felt as though I was taking forever to answer the person that I was chatting with. And it was more than the 2400 baud modem that I was using. It’s surprising, but it wasn’t the modem that slowed me down. It was my inability to just “know” where the keys were. Well, after a year or so of random chatting, I found that I wasn’t frustrated anymore. I could type by thinking the word, rather than thinking the letters that make up the word. I just think that something like this is needed in the classroom area.
I was telling my Mom about this, tonight. I got her started to try to see if a local high school would write her a chat application. Since the high school certifies kids as Microsoft certified, I think it would be a trivial project for a class/kid to do. Then, she could get that kid to install it on her computer network at her grade school (she teaches 4th grade). So, once the chat application is installed, she gives the kids a topic to talk about for the day. They then could use the computers/resources in any way that they want, to Google about the topic or whatever. So, then throughout her “typing” class, they would then silently tell each other about what they learned… asking questions amongst each other, etc. I do think that the chat application should be limited to that room though, so that they can’t go out and get into internet chat in rooms, etc… That way, it would remain “safe” in the parents’ eyes.