Columbia Heights teacher aims to raise funds for keyboards

Learning technological skills early on has become important for the younger generation, and it all starts with typing on a keyboard. Columbia Heights teacher Michelle Radermacher is determine to teach her students the 21st century skills they will need to prepare them for the future. Each fourth grader at Highland

Elementary is given a tablet by the district for classroom-use, but they are unable to learn essential typing skills since this technology lacks a physical keyboard.
Radermacher said her students use these tablets daily, and although typing is not impossible, it is very hard.

Highland Elementary teacher Michelle Radermacher is trying to raise money for keyboards to pair with tablets in the classroom. These keyboards would allow all fourth graders at Highland to learn essential typing skills and make classroom activities easier. (Submitted photo)
Highland Elementary teacher Michelle Radermacher is trying to raise money for keyboards to pair with tablets in the classroom. These keyboards would allow all fourth graders at Highland to learn essential typing skills and make classroom activities easier. (Submitted photo)

“Right now we’re doing an animal research project, and [the students] have to go onto Google Docs to type, and you can only see half the screen when you’re on the tablet,” Radermacher said. “It’s difficult for them.”

She said that learning these skills early on is important for these students.

“When they are writing with their fingers on the tablet, or using the on screen keyboard, they’re not learning how to type,” Radermacher said.

“There’s a lot of writing paragraphs, or learning sentence structure, things like that, that are so much easier to do while typing. It’s mostly all about preparing them for the future.”

Radermacher started her campaign on DonorsChoose.org, a nonprofit organization that allows individuals to donate directly to public school classroom projects.

The goal is to raise funds for 30 keyboards which would be shared among the three fourth grade classrooms, which have 20 to 25 students in each class.

The total project cost is $709 for all necessary materials. This includes the keyboard, batteries, and chargers. With $473 raised so far, the project still needs $236 more in donations.

“There’s definitely a need for [the keyboards],” Radermacher said. “Having a keyboard for students to type on would be extremely valuable.”

To donate to this cause, go to DonorsChoose.org and search “Impact the World Through Writing” to find Radermacher’s project.

Contact Sarah Burghardt at sarah.burghardt@ecm-inc.com