Careers & Education

How to practice keyboarding

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keyboarding technique
It's all in the technique on the keyboard
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Knowing how to practice keyboarding leads to proficiency

The days of deciding should I or shouldn't I practice keyboarding are well beyond us. With a computer in every home and office, as well as most schools around the country nowadays, using a keyboard effectively has become almost mandatory.

If you're still doing the old-school chopsticks on the computer keyboard, take heart. Learning to use a keyboard isn't difficult; it's simply a matter of practice. Here are a few ideas and considerations you can implement to quickly master the art of keyboarding by knowing how to practice keyboarding.

First and foremost, concentrate on technique when you practice keyboarding. Trying to short cut the process and focusing strictly on words-per-minute (WPM) without the proper technique is a recipe for disaster. Fingers get mangled and twisted, frustration mounts and computer keyboards have been know to take flight.

So, let's take a look at some of the key components of proper technique.

First, position yourself in the center of the keyboard, directly in front of the letter  j.  Your spine should be straight and against the back of chair (see, Mom was right), and leaning forward slightly. Position yourself about a hands-length from the keyboard with both feet on the ground and arms relaxed.

Now, position your fingers on what experts refer to as the home position; the four fingers of your left hand are placed on the  A,   S,   D  and  F.  The fingers of the right hand are placed on the  J,   K,   L  and  ;  Use the thumb of the right hand to access the space bar, and the pinky of your left hand for the  Shift  key.

Alright, now that Mom's happy with your straight spine and proper posture, you're ready to practice keyboarding. It's likely you don't have this handy, so find a printable version online of a keyboard; they're all over the place if you do a search online for "keyboarding. This is used to help you practice one of the more difficult aspects of keyboarding," not looking at the keys as you type.

Rather than stare downward, look up at the printed keyboard placed at eye level as you practice keyboarding using various sentences and activities. This allows you, once you've gotten proficient at it, to make corrections (the occasional error is the bane of keyboarding, yet unavoidable) as you go along as opposed to having to stop and review each completed sentence or paragraph.

As your skills improve, you can begin working on your WPM and thrashing others in competitive keyboarding contests.

I've never actually seen one, but I imagine they're out there if you look hard enough. Good luck and keep keyboarding!

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