The Oklahoma City Public Schools (OKCPS) “Key Bee” finals took place at the Frederick Douglass High School auditorium on November 14. The “Key Bee” is a typing competition for students in grades third through sixth. School administrators, students and families gathered for this typing contest and celebrated the 2019 Keyboarding Bee’s champions.
“The most enjoyment I’ve had so far is watching them going from zero skills, to learning where to put their hands, and learning how to better their posture because they have to sit up. They like earning badges. They think it’s a game, but they’re actually learning,” said Ms. Kiera Smith, fourth grade teacher at Arthur Elementary School. “The world is becoming digital, so we have to learn how to use technology and typing is one of the foundations. I encourage every teacher to use typing.com to help their kids learn how to type.”
Teachers were provided with a rubric that included scoring ideas and suggestions to assist in selecting school champions, who were then invited to compete in the district finals. During this championship event, 48 participants challenged each other in one round of typing tests using a program from Typing.com. Students who achieved the highest scores, based on accuracy and speed, advanced to the final round.
“I’ve always said that keyboarding really is the foundation of digital literacy, and OKCPS has found a way to get students excited about learning and practicing these essential skills with their district-wide Key Bee. The entire Typing.com team is so proud to be part of such a fun and innovative event, and every contestant is a winner in my book,” said Austin Butler, CEO and founder of Teaching.com.
Trophies were awarded to the top student in each grade and a grand champion was also announced.
“All of our students from third grade forward are required to use keyboards for assignments and assessments, and sadly, research has shown if students struggle to type they also struggle to fully answer questions or complete assignments,” said Christine Mueller, instructional technology trainer and founder of the city school district’s “Key Bee.” “I wanted to create this keyboarding bee to generate not only excitement but also a bit of urgency for students to get on Typing.com and begin learning how to type efficiently and accurately.”
3rd Grade Champion – Terrell Wilburn, 35 WPM, Accuracy %97, Thelma R. Parks Elementary School
4th Grade Champion – Oliver Hunter, 48 WPM, Accuracy %96, Hayes Elementary School
5th Grade Champion – Destiny Vo, 63 WPM, Accuracy %99, Classen SAS Middle School
6th Grade Champion – Sophia Hunter, 58 WPM, Accuracy %92, Southeast Middle School
Overall Grand Champion – Jazmin Escobedo, 50 WPM, Accuracy %99, Capitol Hill Middle School
All participating finalists received a swag bag provided by numerous generous sponsors.
The OKCPS “Key Bee” was sponsored by Typing.com, Teaching.com, Dell Technologies, Girls Who Code, Trinity3 Technologies, OnCue, Sonic, the Foundation for Oklahoma City Public Schools, Oklahoma City Dodgers Baseball Foundation, Oklahoma Alliance for Arts Education and Oklahoma City University.
Note: Editor Pat McGuigan contributed to this report. The City Sentinel gratefully acknowledges the work of Arely Martin, media director for the school district, and photographs from Kylie Kallsen.