I work at an elementary school in the computer lab. One of my main jobs is to teach the children how to type. I tell them all the time to keep their hands on home row. Over and over I use analogies to help them understand how much faster they could type if they just took the time to learn how to type correctly.
What they don’t know is that I was just as bad as they were when I was a kid. Granted, typing wasn’t as big of a deal back then. We still took our tests on paper and wrote essays by hand in class.
I was that kid that only put my hands on the right keys if the teacher was looking and complained that I could type so much faster if I didn’t keep them on home row.
It wasn’t until I was in high school, trying to keep up with five MSN messenger chats at a time that I finally learned to type quickly and keep my hands on those home keys. My ability to type quickly has influenced my ability to do what I really love, writing.
Even though these days I tend to write everything out by hand first, it still speeds up the time that it takes me to copy it over to the computer. There’s no way that I would have been able to finish my 50000 words for NaNoWriMo when I was in college if it had taken me hours to get my 1667 words for the day. Instead it only took me 45 minutes or less (so long as I wasn’t also procrastinating…).
However, I realize that a lot of people were like me. We didn’t realize the value in learning to type! Well, that’s where typing.com comes in. It’s a program that I use with my students, but it’s 100% free to join and use. I still use it to practice (and to show the kids how fast you can type if you learn the right way). So if you’d like to learn to type, or you’d just like to learn to type a little faster (I definitely taught myself how to type some of the keys wrong) then head on over!