Sunday, 27 November 2011

The end of touch typing?

When I was 16, I had a lovely long summer break after finishing my GCSEs. I wasn't a typical teenager, because in a rather geeky fashion I chose to spend some of my free time teaching myself to touch type. Back in 1996 there were not nearly as many home computers around as there are now, and I had barely even heard of the internet. But in the years that have passed since, I have repeatedly congratulated myself on my foresight, because I have benefited a lot from this skill. From typing essays at college and at university, writing documentation for work right through to writing this blog, I can now type very fast and fairly accurately.

But now I've found that on gadgets with a touchscreen keypad it is impossible to touch type. When you touch type, you need to rest your fingers on the home keys, and you can't do this on a touchscreen because it will register the key press. Also the letters are often too small to hold your fingers over comfortably anyway. So it's back to typing with one or two fingers again. The reason that I have resisted the lure of a tablet style touchscreen device is because I find it so much easier to write using a keyboard. But I can see that in a few years time everything will be touchscreen and keyboards may well become obsolete, along with typewriters.

So is there any point in still learning to touch type?

2 comments:

  1. We have a touchtyping programme that we use in school. Its grea t for developing children's keyboard skills. I think it still is an important skill to have.

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  2. They will pry my ergonomic keyboard from my cold, dead hands. A full keyboard (I touch type) is one of the reasons I have a desktop rather than a laptop. I hate touchscreens.

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