High school students lacking in typing skills
To the editor:
As the parent of a college freshman, Tim Rowland’s commentary regarding online courses definitely hit a chord. I feel that the proposed requirement for a high school student to take at least one online course for graduation certainly would have at least as much merit as the current requirement for community service hours. In our experience with Washington County Schools, students already have school-supplied online access to various study guide and homework scheduling sites, so the basic concept should be familiar to most. Will some students excel over others in this type of learning environment? Certainly, just as some have difficulty with the traditional classroom. But what better way to make that determination than before graduation?
What I still find astonishing though is the lack of a basic keyboard typing standard for high school students. Sure, they can thumb type on their phones or peck their way to a three-page paper over a couple of days, but in today’s high-paced work environment, where tight deadlines and multitasking are the norm, they need to be able to do this sort of activity several times a day. They also need some basic knowledge of document manipulation and formatting. Just imagine how marketable a kid could be for something like a part-time service desk or receptionist job if, in addition to answering the phone, they could also type effectively and format a document.
I would argue that if the proposed online course requirement goes through that it be as part of a required computer tech class for all students that should be heavy on keyboarding and document manipulation skills. And as many parents of seniors have probably already discovered, this course should be taken well before the agony of the college application process begins.