At Second Nature Learning, we believe that keyboarding and online communication skills are fundamental components of literacy in the 21st Century. Digital Literacy advocates praised The ELA Common Core State Standards for addressing the importance of keyboarding fluency in elementary schools. Now, with the new PARCC exams on the horizon, students will be assessed on their ability to write using a keyboard.
About the PARCC
The PARCC exams will be used by a large number of states in the US to assess students' mastery of Common Core State Standards. The PARCC will be administered to students from grades 3 and up, beginning in the 2014-2015 school year. The PARCC exams will be administered digitally, with students completing the tests on computers. You can read more at PARCConline.org.
ELA and Keyboarding
Since the PARCC's ELA test will be taken on computers, students will need to type their written answers. While examples of type-written questions have yet to be released, we can draw conclusions about the rigor of these writing tasks from the Common Core State Standards. According to CCSS w.4.6, fourth graders must be able to type "a minimum of one page in a single sitting." CCSS w.5.6 requires fifth graders to type "a minimum of two pages in a single sitting."
QwertyTown and the PARCC
We are relieved/thrilled that the Common Core State Standards and the upcoming PARCC exams recognize the importance of keyboarding in modern literacy instruction. However, if the CCSS and PARCC disappeared tomorrow, the ability to communicate with a keyboard would be no less important. Our goal has always been and will always be to help students develop keyboarding fluency and online communication skills. With engaging activities, authentic online communication tools, and the ability to differentiate speed and accuracy goals for students, the educators behind QwertyTown created the most effective keyboarding program on the market.