Remembering Typing Class: The Class That Actually Mattered In The Long Run


When first introduced to the course, few expected how important typing classes would become. This is especially true when considering the early start this class got. Fortunately, the powers that be understood the need to learn how to navigate this new form of communicating. Like any other skill, typing had to be developed with practice so the process could be streamlined.

Streamlining began with typing classes that date back to the typewriter’s introduction. Near the end of the 1800s, typewriters earned a respectable reputation as useful communication tools. Realizing what they had, manufacturers started honing in on instructional methods. Before too long, we found ourselves exposed to classes that ended up being some of the most useful ever taught in schools.


Take it from the typewriter makers: typing classes are important

The typewriter and its manufacturers first introduced the concept of typing classes
The typewriter and its manufacturers first introduced the concept of typing classes / YouTube

The ability to share information and express thoughts changed everything. Each time a new innovation came to light, humanity adjusted around this ability. Needless to say, we’ve come a long way from cave drawings. Typewriters, in particular, introduced the need for lessons. By 1880, typewriter manufacturer Remington designed courses to solidify their product’s status. These courses started off rather simple but became pretty universal by the early 1900s.

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As the years went on, though, they became downright crucial. Today, many jobs want to know a person’s typing speed as a competitive trait. But even years before entering the job market, students experience developmental benefits. Studies found that typing class helped with spelling and mastery of the English language. To help kids get the most benefit, studies also looked into the best age to teach typing. First, research pointed to 3rd grade. However, further studies showed students in 1st and 2nd grade to be just as capable. Soon, even that can change again, with new technological advances each day.

Teachers produced some creative techniques

Teachers wanted students to be as efficient as possible
Teachers wanted students to be as efficient as possible / Reddit

Typing classes ran for decades and still run today. But teachers wanted their students to really master typing automatically and correctly, so they produced some shocking methods to yield the desired results. Reddit has an abundance of anecdotes you may relate to. One user recalled the teacher covering students’ hands with blankets so they could not see their fingers or the keys. The picture above, according to the person who shared it, depicts a high school in the ’60s. There, students had their eyes covered so they couldn’t look at the keys.

Looking back at typing classes show interesting demographic trends over the decades. A few Reddit comments mention classes having very few males because typing was considered secretarial and thus feminine. Gradually, this changed in cases when typing was required instead of an elective. But men who did not, like one user’s husband, used the “hunt and peck” method when typing. Some classrooms had keyboards with absolutely no letters on them or else covered them with a “pseudo latex overlay.” Teachers meant business! How did you learn to type?

It wasn't enough to type; you had to master the art without looking
It wasn’t enough to type; you had to master the art without looking / Amazon

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