Early Ed Watch

A Blog from New America's Early Education Initiative

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On BAM! Radio: When is it Time to Type?

Published:  November 10, 2011

Reports of children learning keyboarding as early as kindergarten have sprung up, begging the question: What age is physically and developmentally appropriate for children to learn to type? Last week on BAM! Radio, I joined host Rae Pica and two other guests to discuss the in’s and out’s of teaching young children how to type on a computer.

As I mentioned on the podcast, “By third grade, we are seeing more and more children who are desperate to be on a keyboard and do it in a more facile way. They want to be on a keyboard and they’re highly frustrated when they aren’t given the skills to do it.”

So how early is too early? The answers from the BAM! segment range between first and third grade. But many agree, as Pica wrote in an accompanying commentary, that kindergarten is too young. Balance is key. Kids also need to develop gross motor skills in addition to the fine motor skills that they need in order to type on a keyboard. We need a lot more research on when and how children develop fine motor skills if we want to answer questions about keyboarding and digital literacy well.

Click here to listen to the entire conversation. To read more on young children and technology, see some of our recent posts from Early Ed Watch:

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