The QWERTY keyboard with which most of us are familiar has evolved considerably since Royal Earl House exhibited his first printing telegraph in 1844. Interestingly, early telegraph keyboards more closely resembled piano keyboards right down to their ebony and ivory keys. The QWERTY design that is the most popular keyboard layout in the United States, UK, Italy, Spain, Scandinavia, and other countries was developed during the 1870s by Christopher Latham Sholes.
Since that time, keyboard memorization has become an increasingly important skill, especially since up to 90 percent of Americans interact with a keyboard on a daily basis. Although not all of those people use them from work, it would be difficult to prove any benefits of the “hunt and peck” technique. In fact, people who can type 55 words per minute can do about five times the work of the typical hunt and peck typist.
When people take a keyboarding class they are usually taught one section at a time, and are discouraged from looking at their fingers, the keyboard, or even computer keyboard pictures while typing. Although this really is the best way to learn, to many typing students it may seem like cruel and unusual punishment; but, nevertheless, it is a simple, yet valuable skill, that will stick with you for the rest of your life.
Familiarity with the computer keyboard has become such an important skill that more students are taking classes than ever. Before the 1980s this was not the case, as “keyboarding” was usually only offered through school business departments, and the majority of classes consisted of future office workers.
Today, computer keyboarding classes are offered as general education skills and are applicable to anyone. Many folks are even taking keyboarding classes via community education, and, after completing the course, some even receive certificates of completion inside computer keyboard picture frames. Others will actually pose for their picture in front of wall sized pictures of computer keyboards.
While the computer keyboard picture frame and photos can add a fun and amusing element to an otherwise dry course, knowing the keyboard, without having to refer to their fingers or a picture of a computer keyboard. is a skill everyone should have. After all, even if you do not work in an office or around computers all day, every person will find himself or herself in front of a keyboard from time to time.