As a result of the new Common Core State Standards, students in grades three and up will soon be taking their annual assessments online. While typing was once taught in middle school, teachers around the country are now setting aside time to teach computer skills to students starting in first grade (many of whom may have barely mastered printing by hand). The new tests will require students to be able to manipulate a mouse, click, drag and type answers on a keyboard and write online. California is eager to field-test the exams next spring to help those creating the tests resolve the issues and make improvements. On a recent Monday, the 21 students in Suzanna Mayo’s second grade classroom at Sassarini Elementary School learned the basics of keyboarding using the Dance Mat Typing program under the director of Maria Olascoaga in the school’s computer lab. Mavis Njeri (left) enjoyed the chance to practice her keystrokes.
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