If you watch people from all walks of life as they learn to type, you will quickly discover that not everyone uses the same typing method. However, not all of these typing techniques are equal. Some methods tend to be far less efficient and make it harder to catch mistakes.
Touch typing is the method with the most potential for speed and accuracy. While the average person using two fingers to type can only put out 27-37 words per minute, the typical touch typist types 40-60 words per minute — and many can type even faster.
Students who do not wish to get left in the dust will need to carefully hone their touch typing skills until they can type with both confidence and accuracy. Read on to learn about the five most common ways students learn to type and their potential for efficient typing.
5. Hunt & Peck Typing
Typists who are not formally trained in typing often use the Hunt & Peck method to get their words on the screen. In this typing method, the person continually watches the keyboard as they “hunt” for keys and moves their hand to “peck” each key. Often, the user only uses a few fingers to type all of the keys.
The Hunt & Peck method is one of the most inefficient typing methods because the hands must travel around the keyboard rather than reaching out from a central position with the nearest finger. Since the user watches the keyboard rather than the screen, it is more difficult to find typing errors and fix them than with some other methods.
Like the Hunt & Peck method, Buffering is a typing technique in which the user watches the keyboard rather than the screen. The typist reads or memorizes the content they want to type, watches the keyboard as they type it, and then looks up at the screen to check their work or see what they want to type next.
Buffering is effectively a “play and pause” typing method. If you wish to type at a faster speed, you will need to find another typing method that allows you to keep your gaze on the screen.
Thumbing is the typing method used on smartphones and tablets. The person uses their thumbs to reach the letters because there is not enough room to place the whole hand on the keyboard. Many students learn to type this way, which can put them at a disadvantage when they begin typing essays and emails on a computer.
While some people can type at surprisingly fast speeds on a smartphone, it is impossible to reach the very fastest speeds without a traditional keyboard. What’s more, too much typing on a smartphone can lead to “trigger thumb” or worsened arthritis.
2. Hybrid Method Typing
The Hybrid Method is a mixture of touch typing and the Hunt & Peck method. Users are mostly focused on the screen, although they still occasionally have to look down to type certain keys.
This method is mostly used by typists who have some ability with touch typing but are not confident in their accuracy.
In Hybrid Method typing, the typist’s hands remain in a mostly fixed, central position, although they may not be using the ideal fingers to type every letter. These typists often make more mistakes than a touch typist who has spent more time purposefully honing their skills. To achieve the fastest typing speeds, students should continue to work on their typing skills until they can confidently touch type.
1. Touch Typing
Touch typing is the most efficient typing technique, which is why many schools try to teach it to students early on in their education. Almost every professional typist uses this typing technique. Touch typists can use muscle memory to type all of the keys and do not have to look down at the keyboard.
In touch typing, the typist keeps their hands in a central position on the home row and moves the nearest finger to reach keys that are not on the home row. Each key is reached through muscle memory. Since the typist is looking at their screen, it is easy to quickly spot and fix mistakes — and with muscle memory built over time, it becomes easy to type more accurately in the first place.
If you are looking for adaptable keyboarding lessons that can help your students learn to type, consider Typing Agent. Our online touch typing program automatically adapts to each student and includes a variety of exciting games, incentives, and reporting features. Our program is designed to work well for traditional and remote classrooms of all sizes, including homeschools.