Is ten finger typing a mandatory class yet?
August 5, 2008
In 5th grade I took an optional afternoon class: typing. We learned how to type on classic, non-electric Triumph-Adler typewriters using the ten finger technique. Since then I can type text with my eyes closed at relatively high speed. Back then it was 300 char/min on those clunky mechanical type writers with their steep keyboard. I think it’s more on a computer keyboard (depending on the text, of course). We also learned basic typesetting techniques when writing documents with the typewriter, especially how to type a standard business letter. So all in all, this class was immensely useful for basically any office-related work later on, not to mention software development.
I still remember vividly how my dad said to my mom in the late 1990s, “Thankfully I’m too old to get a computer at work. It’s a tool for younger generation, not for me.” That was when he still had a secretary that he would give dictaphone tapes to. Naturally, at home I would be his secretary, having done that typing class. Just a year later he had a computer on his desk. Fast forward a few more years, he’s typing lots of letters, then emails, both on and off work. Of course he does. Everybody does these days! But just think about how much easier it would be for him if he had taken that typing class as well.
So like you, I and even my dad, everybody’s going to have to do a lot of typing in their job, no matter whether they’re a car mechanic or a Fortune 500 executive. It’s probably safe to say that this won’t change in the too distant future because let’s face it, speech recognition hasn’t caught on yet and it’s questionable whether it ever will be.
It’s been a while since I was in 5th grade. I wonder whether typing as a class has become a mandatory part of any school’s curriculum nowadays. If not, why hasn’t it? And who can we talk to to make it happen?