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Forum title:Typing
Topic title:Which layout for children?
Created by: willybilly
Created on:2007-08-25 13:54:49
Read times:9283

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willybilly

Date: 2007-08-25 13:54:49
Edited: 2007-08-25 14:01:15


[reply]
Hello,

at what age would you recommend first instructions for children in typing?

Which layout should they learn?
QWERTY in english speaking countries, QWERTZ in german speaking countries for reasons of compatibility?
Or rather DVORAK/NEO for reasons of ergonomics?
Should they be taught to use two layouts parallel from the beginning?

What about the VEYBOARD (formerly Velotype) http://www.veyboard.nl/ which seems to be the fastest means of typing but available only in dutch yet?

Do you think typing will be obsolete in the near future due to improved voice recognition?

Thanks in advance
Willybilly
sharp

Date: 2007-09-20 06:03:03


[reply]
you should use the layout that your country uses.. because the first one will definitely be the one he'll be most accustom to

if you teach him a different type other than your country standard, he might have issues at school when they learn to type and stuff...

if your country has several "common" layouts, it doesn't matter
willybilly

Date: 2007-09-23 01:24:51


[reply]
Hello sharp,

QWERTZ is the standard layout in Germany (as far as I know also in Austria, but some varieties in Switzerland).

QWERTY ist the standard layout in USA and several other english speaking countries (including Great Britain if I remember correctly).

But those layouts where invented to prevent mechanical interference of the letters. They are not ergonomic. There are several proposals for more ergonomic layouts. Today there is no point anymore in mechanical questions as the keyboards are connected electronically.

DVORAK is the most famous ergonomic layout in USA but there are still only a few users.

NEO is the most promising ergonomic layout in Germany. It does not have a lot of users yet either.

Apparently it is easier to make all aspirants of typing learn an unergonomic layout than to promote an alternative layout.

Cheers
Willy

sorenk

Date: 2007-09-24 06:27:02
Edited: 2007-09-24 06:41:42


[reply]
I'd recommend the first age that their fingers can reach the letters and that they want to (I'm not a fan of pushing kids to learn things they don't want to; though, conning them into wanting to learn is often viable).

You might teach your children an ergonomic layout and how to transpose it to the countries standard or standards. That way they can fit in, and type comfortably too. All while having a trick up their sleeve.

for example:
Qwerty:
Q W E RT YU I O P{
A S D FG HJ K L ;'
Z X C VB NM , . /

nTheia
VF G M L /O U P B;
S D T NR AE I C H,
  K W JXZ 'Q Y . @

Transposition
By finger:
Sd Fn Vx
Dt Gr Ki
Tl Mq Wf
N' Rm Lc Je Xw Zk
Eg As Op /@ Qv ',
Iu Uo Y/
Cj Pb ..
Ha Bz ,y ;,

By Key Ring:
; H A S D T L C J E G R M Q V X W F N ',y/@№ "?& Y\☹
I U O P B Z K I U O ...

A kid, knowing how to transpose nTheia to Qwerty, types:
?Agccpy U js' l/bg VFGML\y js' \PO&?
on a QWERTY computer keyboard to get:
"Hello, I can type QWERTY, can YOU?"

The same technique can be applied to NEO, Dvorak, Colemak or any other alternative layout.
willybilly

Date: 2007-09-24 12:24:41


[reply]
Hello sorenk,

I'd recommend the first age that their fingers can reach the letters
On a standard keyboard, I suppose?
I think childrens hands are significantly smaller than adults hands at least up to the age of 12 years. If there were smaller keyboards (as there are smaller violins) they could start after learning the letters in school.

the first age (...) that they want to (I'm not a fan of pushing kids to learn things they don't want to; though, conning them into wanting to learn is often viable).
"Conning" sounds to me like doing fraud. I think it is not difficult to use childrens intrinsic curiosity, eagerness for knowledge and delight in playing to make them learn to type. Just create a funny computer game where they have to use blind typing to get good results and they will learn and practise almost by themselves.

A kid, knowing how to transpose nTheia to Qwerty, types:
?Agccpy U js' l/bg VFGML\y js' \PO&?
on a QWERTY computer keyboard to get:
"Hello, I can type QWERTY, can YOU?"
That sounds completely impossible to me.

I appreciate that you are fond of nTheia as you invented it yourself a short time ago.
Did you already gather any personal experience with teaching it to children yourself?
And could you please write a page for Wikipedia explaining what nTheia is?


I was absolutely astonished what a difference DVORAK made to Barbara Blackburn: She failed her highschool typing class using the QWERTY layout and became world record holder in fast typing using the DVORAK layout.
http://web.syr.edu/~rcranger/blackburn.htm
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Typing

But apparently DVORAK does make such a great difference only to a few persons. There is no other argument which is able to explain to me why DVORAK did not become a widespread success. And I can not see any alternative layout which is likely to be a widespread success.

So my children will learn QWERTZ in Germany.

Cheers
Willybilly
sorenk

Date: 2007-09-25 05:24:39
Edited: 2007-09-25 05:34:44


[reply]
Hello willybilly
Hello sorenk,

I'd recommend the first age that their fingers can reach the letters
On a standard keyboard, I suppose?
I think childrens hands are significantly smaller than adults hands at least up to the age of 12 years. If there were smaller keyboards (as there are smaller violins) they could start after learning the letters in school.


There's a "Mini Cherry Keyboard" by Jackson Technologies at http://www.jacksontechnology.com/mini%20keyboard%20page.htm

and

A "Kidskey Keyboard" by Ergoguys at http://store.ergoguys.com/kidskey.html

the first age (...) that they want to (I'm not a fan of pushing kids to learn things they don't want to; though, conning them into wanting to learn is often viable).
"Conning" sounds to me like doing fraud. I think it is not difficult to use childrens intrinsic curiosity, eagerness for knowledge and delight in playing to make them learn to type. Just create a funny computer game where they have to use blind typing to get good results and they will learn and practise almost by themselves.

Typing of the Dead is such a game. But it's more for 13+. Kids tend sometimes want to know what your doing. So if you type when they're around you might get lucky and you might not. And their interest will come and go. (I'm not a parent, but I've seen a cousin grow from whizzing my face (at least some male babies think its a watter toy) to graduating high school. I haven't spent all that much time around kid. But I have too much patience so I tend to get stuck with other peoples kids from time to time.


A kid, knowing how to transpose nTheia to Qwerty, types:
?Agccpy U js' l/bg VFGML\y js' \PO&?
on a QWERTY computer keyboard to get:
"Hello, I can type QWERTY, can YOU?"
That sounds completely impossible to me.

Only because you haven't done it much. Ape and apple are just as odd too. We just don't notice because we leaned that āp is big and harry, and apəl is smooth, red, crunchy and sweet. And that the letter a represents drastically different sounds dependent on context. Which is much more complex.
 
I appreciate that you are fond of nTheia as you invented it yourself a short time ago.
Did you already gather any personal experience with teaching it to children yourself?
And could you please write a page for Wikipedia explaining what nTheia is?
I put nTheia together myself, but with the help of an optimization program (Kiwi) and by looking at (stealing from) many different boards.

It's optimized for changing rows when typing consecutive letters with the same hand for English with compatibility (not using the same finger or little fingers to much in sequence) in other European languages.

But, most importantly, it changes the angle of the left hand so that typing on a standard layout is very comfortable.

I haven't placed it in Wikipedia because I know of no independent references to site for the article. Neo, a very similar layout with much more commentary does not have an English article either (censorship, perhaps necessary).

I was absolutely astonished what a difference DVORAK made to Barbara Blackburn: She failed her highschool typing class using the QWERTY layout and became world record holder in fast typing using the DVORAK layout.
http://web.syr.edu/~rcranger/blackburn.htm
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Typing
You don't have to be inept to fail a class. And Dvorak probably was looking for someone who would be good for marketing. And I think she was.

The fact that standard keyboards, by economical, careless or inept design, render keys out of order when typed in quick succession (try typing re and er by hitting both keys almost at once and you'll see what I mean) may be more of a speed limiter than layout efficiency. Standard keyboards (have yet to find an exception) scan keys as a matrix and scan slowly (by modern hard ware standards). Multiple keys typed between scans are read by their order in the matrix and timing is disregarded.

Dvorak can probably be typed faster than QWERTY but for me the biggest factor is comfort.

For me, typing over 40 words per minute seems to depend more on memory than layout. I still have yet to pass my top QWERTY speed (60+) wpm and I've been at it over a month, maybe two. (55+ for me is where progress slows a lot regardless of layout).

But I have noticed a great deal of difference between layouts in terms of comfort.

And one can test the comfort of a layout by typing transposed text (does not require learning the alternate layout or transposition, just typing lots of transposed garble).


But apparently DVORAK does make such a great difference only to a few persons. There is no other argument which is able to explain to me why DVORAK did not become a widespread success. And I can not see any alternative layout which is likely to be a widespread success.

So my children will learn QWERTZ in Germany.
One never can be so sure what a child well learn


Cheers
Willybilly


Mahalo,
Søren
uvis07

Date: 2008-02-12 20:55:56


[reply]
willybilly wrote:
Hello,

at what age would you recommend first instructions for children in typing?

Which layout should they learn?
QWERTY in english speaking countries, QWERTZ in german speaking countries for reasons of compatibility?
Or rather DVORAK/NEO for reasons of ergonomics?
Should they be taught to use two layouts parallel from the beginning?

What about the VEYBOARD (formerly Velotype) http://www.veyboard.nl/ which seems to be the fastest means of typing but available only in dutch yet?

Do you think typing will be obsolete in the near future due to improved voice recognition?

Thanks in advance
Willybilly


From three years of age children can learn two languages, writing a couple of years later. Typing from 9...12 years, depending on the hands having enough unstrained span between fingers.
You might consider to preselect a personal keyboard to be free from the straight qwerty keyboards that are all over the place.
Then you are free to select e.g. a kinesis ergo lan keyboard, and apply a Dvorak type that is optimized for your prime language while having the second language second best or as a switchable key set.
Talking comfort and lower stress the range is from straigh qwerty to uSoft Natural (smal step) to Kinesis (bigger step). Apart from these arm and hand positioning improvements, the key layout from qwerty to Dvorak gives in all cases another inpendent improvement, especially when optimized for languages other than english.
The Veyboard is special as it gives one syllable at a multiple keystroke.
No experience with children using it is known to me. Veyboards are utilized to enter life subtitling on TV and for life interpretation for the deaf. After five to six months of training a proficient adult can achieve up to over 900 characters/minute where normal talking speech is up to 700 characters/minute. Not only is long intensive training required to achieve a good speed, we found that after the annual three weeks holiday speed dropped to about half and another couple of months of training was again required to achieve the pre-holiday speed. The Veyboard is also special to procure; approx. 3000 dollars each. RSI is unknown with the Veyboard as interpretation or just typing speech while it is delivered is limited by mental strain and fatigue rather than physical strain caused by typing.

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