February 26, 2003
One of my responsibilities is to introduce keyboarding, even to our kindergarten and first graders, and a large challenge is to get the kids to type with two hands. In addition to using some keyboarding software that divides our keyboard into left- and right-handed keys, I cut a piece of chenille stem (pipe-cleaner) to a length slightly longer than the width of the keyboard. Before the kinder- and first-graders come to the lab, I gently wedge the stem between the 5 and 6 keys and the B and N keys, effectively dividing the keyboard down the middle. Now when they type, I can keep reminding them 'Don't let your fingers jump the fence', and they have a good visible reminder of exactly where that 'fence' is. It also makes it much more obvious to me, from a distance, who is still 'crossing over'.