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SMooreTAR Plan

SMooreTAR Plan

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Published by: smoore67 on Jun 27, 2009
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06/26/2009

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Technology Action Research PlanSandy Moore1
TECHNOLOGY ACTION RESEARCH PLAN
SECTION IINTRODUCTION
I teach keyboarding to 7
th
and 8
th
grade students in a small, rural district in SoutheastMissouri. Students in the 8
th
grade spend the first semester of the school year in keyboardingwhile the 7
th
grade students spend the second semester of the school year in keyboarding.Keyboarding is not offered at the high school level. Students are only receiving one year of formal keyboarding instruction. Since computers are so prevalent in every facet of the worldand children are exposed to them as early as pre-kindergarten, it is necessary to teachkeyboarding prior to the 7
th
grade before students develop poor keyboarding habits. The mostfrequent bad habit I observed with 7
th
grade students is their inability to refrain fromconstantly looking at the keyboard while typing which reduces keyboarding speedtremendously. With this in mind, I talked with other keyboarding instructors to see if they hadexperienced the same problem. I learned that some of the other keyboarding instructors usedkeyboard covers during keyboarding instruction. Keyboard covers cover the keys so thatstudents cannot see the keys even if they look at their keyboards. After learning aboutkeyboard covers, I decided to use keyboard covers to determine if their use would helpstudents avoid looking at their keyboard while learning to type and, thus, improvekeyboarding speed. This research plan has been designed to determine if teachingkeyboarding at a lower grade level reduces poor keyboarding habits when students are older and if implementing the use of keyboard covers improves students keyboarding speed.
 
Technology Action Research PlanSandy Moore2
AREA OF FOCUS
Students at Fisk Middle School are not taught keyboarding until the 7
th
grade. I believeteaching keyboarding at the 5
th
grade level with using keyboarding covers will result in fewer  bad keyboarding habits in 7th graders, increased use of technology such as word processingand power points
,
and increased keyboarding speed.
RESEARCH QUESTIONS
1.Will teaching keyboarding to 5
th
graders result in fewer bad keyboarding habits in 7
th
graders?2.Will teaching keyboarding to 5
th
graders increase the use of technology such as word processing and power points?3.Will using keyboard covers while typing improve students’ keyboarding speed and/or accuracy?
 
RELATED LITERATURE
The National Educational Technology Standards (NETS) have set the framework for the 21
st
century student. According to the NETS, students must be technology literate by theend of the eighth grade. In order to meet these standards, educators must begin in theelementary grades. Furthermore, with computers being an integral part of the world we livein and the primary means for interacting with a computer is the keyboard, keyboarding is themost important single “computer” skill a child can learn (Himowitz, 2003). Keyboardingskills are as basic to learning as penmanship in this technology-driven world. Today, it is nota question of whether to teach keyboarding, but
when
to teach it! (Education World, 2003)Erickson (1993) addressed the controversy of when keyboarding should be taught andstates that all students, age 8 and up, can learn keyboarding skills, but the ideal age for effective keyboarding instruction and learning is the upper elementary school levels (age 10-
 
Technology Action Research PlanSandy Moore312). Erthal (1998) states that the general consensus is about age 8 or 9 or grades 3 or 4 because children at this age possess the necessary fine motor skills, eye-hand coordination,and reading ability to succeed in keyboarding. However, in an article in Education World, theauthor quotes “There is no longer an ideal time for formal keyboarding instruction becauseyounger and younger children are imitating siblings and parents by wanting to work withcomputers” (2003). Numerous studies indicate that keyboarding should be taught prior tousing the computer, especially since students need formal instruction to acquire keyboardingskills using the touch system (PCBEE, 1997; Nieman, 1996; Prigge and Braathen, 1993).Students should be able to demonstrate the correct touch method of keyboarding after successfully completing 25 to 45 hours of instruction according to the Policies Commissionfor Business and Economic Education (1997). The suggested time frame for a basickeyboarding program according to Erickson (1991) is 40 to 45 class periods of approximately30 to 40 minutes in length. Depending on the grade level and the number of 30-minute class periods, 15 to 35 hours of instruction in Grade 3 or Grade 4 is recommended by Hoggatt(2004). Yet, according to Erthal (2003), keyboarding should be at about the 5
th
grade leveland instruction should be a partnership of the elementary education and business educationteachers. In addition, sufficient time should be devoted to initial keyboarding instruction (30hours minimum), and the new skills should be reinforced throughout the school years.One of the biggest concerns of those teaching “touch” keyboarding in elementary andmiddle schools is how to prevent students from looking at their fingers while keyboarding.Students are told to keep their eyes on the monitor or text, but many new learners are quick tolet their eyes wander to their fingers. Proper keyboarding techniques require that the learner’seyes be fixed on the screen, which shows the results of his/her keying (Nieman, 1996; Schade,

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