- Teaching Strategies
- Ideas to Generate More Writing
- Language-based Approach
- Single Hand Typing
- Keyboard alternatives
- Keyboard Considerations
- Shared Keyboard Conversation - Double up on a computer with a friend and stop talking. No talking allowed. Use the keyboard and any word processing software to have a conversation on the screen. Make a few basic rules before you start: No talking, don’t worry about mistakes and fixing them, don’t write more than a few lines at a time, etc. It’s a great way to make clear the power of using
voiceas a generator for writing.
- Shared Keyboard Conversation with portable word processors
(PWP) - Try the same exercise as above except with PWPs. Change the rules to reflect the PWPs smaller screen: only type 1 line of text or slightly more at a time.
- Round-Robin Story Writing (and reading) - On a computer or a PWP, have students start a story (anything they like). Give them anything from two to five minutes to work on it (depending on their writing and
keyboardingabilities). Then, tell them to stop in mid-sentence and move one computer to the right (or left), read the story on that machine and continue it. Repeat this until the students are one short of a complete circuit. Then, have them finish the story in front of them. Have them return to their starting machine and read the entire story (to themselves). If appropriate, have a random student read the story on his/her machine aloud. Or, have each student read aloud. Warning: reading aloud is hard for some students; don’t make this a requirement.
- Journal Writing - Encourage students to keep a journal which you will never look at. Give them some guidelines like: there ought to be an entry for every day, even if it’s just: “I didn’t do anything today except watch TV and I watched (whatever).” Keeping a journal is a good way to get a bit of personal writing done every day that you actually keep for yourself. It’s also a good way to do some thinking about the hard questions without sharing with others.
ePalwebsites to encourage writing through e-mail: www.epals.com
- Make whatever you are writing or your students are writing meaningful.
- Take the emphasis off of skills, put it on content.
- Write every day.
- Make writing incidental; write all the time, not just when you have a formal paper due.
- Make writing fun: choose writing tasks that are enjoyable.
- Experiment to find appropriate tools.
- Accept messes. Thinking and writing is a messy process and even when you’re good at it the
messesnever go away. exaggeratedtactile bumps on keys to facilitate maintaining 'home row' finger position emphasison the finger/key connections and patterns letterstaught alphabetically (less need for rote memorization) realwords or parts of words used (more reality-based, and again pattern-based)
- Has the student tried the least restrictive method of using a traditional keyboard and found it to not be successful?
- Does the student need to access more than one computer in their day? If so, would they want to carry around a one-handed keyboard and set it up in each setting when they need to type or access a computer?
- Would they also need to use the same keyboard in the home setting, therefore, need to take it back and forth each day?
- Does it matter to the student if
theirkeyboard looks different than their peers?
- The Android operating system has Swipe which is a functional one-handed
keyboardingoption. (Please note that there is an app that claims to function in an apple system, but it only allows the user to 'swipe' in their program and does not support any other applications.) Fleksyis an iPad app which is a keyboard app that uses predictive text technology designed for blind and visually impaired users. There is a free version that with one hand will work well as long as you know the keys on the keyboard. The swiping does take some adjusting to, but could become a faster method for typing if practiced. The free version basically allows you to practice with app, but the full version for $4.99 will allow you to use the Fleksy keyboard for messaging/texting, notes and on the Internet.
- The Matias one-handed keyboard will work with the iPad. You would connect the USB to a camera converter for the iPad and then to the keyboard.
- Which keyboard should you use? First, ask yourself: what my goals are for the use of the keyboard? Is it comfort, speed, accuracy or a need unique to the user?
- Is the user used to QWERTY (traditional key placement)? If not, we might want to explore other options. If they are already used to using a QWERTY keyboard or if you think they will be using many keyboards in life- might be best to stick with this.
- Does the user actually need a traditional keyboard or is a virtual keyboard a possibility?
- Will a
- Is vision/contrast and/or key size a consideration?
- Will they be using numbers quite often? If so, you may want to be sure your keyboard includes a number pad.