I went through typing classes in 4th-6th grade and hated it - because you couldn't look at the keyboard while you typed. If I looked at it, I could type at 100+ WPM (the fastest of anyone at the school, except maybe a couple of the tech teachers). Not looking drew me into the 40-60 range.
I've been using a QWERTY keyboard1
since I've been on PCs (age 3 and beyond, almost 17 now
) and I always typed faster than anyone else I knew. I just had to look at the freaking keyboard to do it.
Eventually, in mid-7th grade I got my Compaq laptop (now deceased, mini-review on new computer to come soon) and the keyboard was smaller, and most of the non-alphanumeric keys were a different size. Strangely enough, I was able to touch type almost instantly on it. In late 8th grade, I typed up a whole 3 page report without looking at the keyboard OR screen, making only 2 spelling errors in the entire thing (no grammar, either); to top that, I was on the phone as well. It took me a whopping 10 minutes, 15 if you include printing and review
. </shameless bragging>
Last semester (Spring 09) I took 'Business Foundations', a class where typing is a hard-pushed skill. My record in that class was over 140WPM w/ 0 errors (once again, fastest - I actually had kids making remarks about "the keyboard is gonna catch on fire" and "holy <lots of variations>"), and I type on average about 120WPM. Not bad, considering my mom (an Office Manager, sole employee) types at about 70WPM, with my 10 year old sister coming in 3rd at around 30, and my dad falling last; I would have to guess 15-25 (and that 25 is pushing
it).So if you plan to do anything on a computer
that requires more typing than say, FARR usage or typing URLs and other short phrases or sentences (that means everyone posting here!), touch typing will help immensely
. It may come naturally, randomly, or with dedication and maybe a short class or two. But once you have it, you will amaze yourself with how slow you used to type, and how much time you save over writing, previous typing methods, or (sometimes) even voice recognition. And then you can use that time for better things. Like programming, and visiting DC, and slipping out a little early for your lunch hour... wait, what? 1
For the record: I tried DVORAK months ago: I'll stick with my 'typewriter' top line, TYVM