22wpm to 56wpm: How I learned to type properly in one week.

Now, for a bit of reflection. I’m happy that I went with Typing Web as my primary source of learning, they definitely have the simplest and most comprehensive set of typing lessons that I looked at. For the wpm testing, I decided to include my scores from 10 Fast Fingers and Typing Web because the typing test at each site is quite different. 10 Fast Fingers uses a series of common words that are jumbled up, with occasional proper nouns, and no punctuation marks. Whereas, Typing Web uses phrases and sentences, with capital letters, and common punctuation marks. So, Typing Web tended to be more challenging, but the scores remained surprisingly close.

Each day I logged 20-30min of intentional typing practice. The days that I logged more or less, were noticeable in my scores. I’m glad that on day 3, I committed to typing properly full-time. It was hard for the first day, but became progressively easier, and I think it really helped in reaching my goal of 55wpm. It’s cliche, but practice really was key in re-learning to type properly. I’m still tempted to look at the keyboard frequently, so I’m not done practicing, but I’m satisfied with the improvements I have made in a week.

While discussing this week’s learning adventure with a friend, she introduced me to Type Racer (http://play.typeracer.com/). Type Racer allows one to practice typing alone, to challenge a friend to a race, or to play against other users who are online. Each round uses a passage from a book, movie or song for the content of the typing test. Upon completion of a round, the source of the passage is revealed. Many of the passages are from pop-culture, so I’ve been able to recognize a few while typing (which just makes it more fun). Another site with the same premise that I came across is typrX (http://app.typrx.com/#HomePlace:). I found typrX’s passages to be a bit longer and sometimes from lesser known sources, which adds another element of fun (and difficulty when you come get a passage about code).

My advice to learning proper typing technique: pick a website and work your way through their lessons (in order – there’s a logic behind the order they present them in). Practice, practice, practice! And, finally, have some fun with it and challenge your friends or compete against strangers if you’re nervous. If you can’t easily monitor and see your improvement you’re less likely to enjoy practicing, and will be more likely to quit. So, if you can, sign up for an account on whatever site you use most for practicing typing. That way the site will automatically track your scores, and you don’t have to. Master typists have logged speeds around 170wpm at competitions in recent years, so get typing!

To end this week first week of learning, I will call on ‘Oh, The Places You’ll Go’, by Dr. Seuss (with one minor adjustment, of course):

“Just never forget to be dexterous and deft.
And never mix up your right [hand] with your left.”

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