December 28, 2017

MISSING from Classroom Walls: Keyboard Chart

Visualize with me, please. Take a look around the last elementary school classroom you were in. What do you see on the walls?

Elementary classroom with a variety of items on the walls, including a keyboard chart.

Well, I am sure you see an alphabet line and a number line somewhere near the intersection of the wall and ceiling. There are posters with messages of encouragement, and classroom and school rules. There are charts with examples of math concepts, grammar rules, and examples of student work.

Most classrooms are a cacophony of images and symbols that stimulate, excite, and encourage learners. Research supports this. A 2015 paper in the Journal of Education and Practice by Ghulam Shabiralyani states that visual aids help students learn and understand concepts more permanently. Shabiralyani points out that student interest is stimulated by visual representations of information.

Students are interested in and curious about things they see around them. This often leads to a desire to explore and discover. Adding the keyboard chart to the classroom wall will lead to questions and increase students responsiveness to attempting this new activity.

Being acquainted with the layout before and during the learning of keyboarding means students are building on existing knowledge. The picture is an almost unconscious foundation, an understanding that this new order of the alphabet has a purpose.

To encourage learner interest in the important 21st Century skill of keyboarding, the keyboard chart should be added to classroom walls. It’s benefits for preparing our students are greater than the space it uses.

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