[Health] typing tutor activity

Frederick Grose fgrose at gmail.com
Mon Apr 28 11:21:47 EDT 2008

Hi Kate,

Please consider the ergonomic and safety aspects of this learning activity.
I remember well how my piano teacher provided protective oversight by
watching my activities even during a short, 30-minute, weekly lesson.
She had me pause and rest for a couple of minutes, after about 15 minutes of
continuous or even shorter periods of intense keyboarding.

If you could incorporate code to accommodate an algorithm that monitors
typing intensity, such as, keystroke rate and continuity, this could be used
to issue appropriate reminders to the user to rest their hands, eyes, and
other body parts from intense activity.

A simple algorithm might be one that monitors the exponentially weighted
moving average of time between keystrokes based on accumulation of the
output of a timer counter that is read at each keystroke.

Some calibration of the work model parameters with actual use data will be
needed to set reasonable triggers for the rest reminders.

Having such an "on-board safety coach" would be of great advantage in
building an awareness of the body's physiology and it's limits, and
contribute another important lesson for the child's safe growth and

I've posted a formula for the exponentially weighted moving average on the
OLPC wiki at http://wiki.laptop.org/go/User_talk:FGrose#Keystroke_monitoring

There is also some discussion of XO ergonomics at

Please write if you would like more assistance.

Best wishes,      Frederick Grose, MPH, CIH

> ...
 The goal of this project is to deliver an activity that allows
> teachers to create typing lessons for children that are written in the
> kid's native language using age-appropriate words and sentences.  The
> application will do this using a flexible lesson screen that displays
> an on-screen keyboard and one or two of a variety of tools to indicate
> progress/speed/accuracy etc.  For each lesson, the lesson screen will
> be formatted using the lesson text and settings provided in a separate
> text file edited/written by teachers.  As time permits, I plan to
> develop a GUI interface to help teachers create these lesson text
> files.
> If you have any comments, suggestions, or feedback on this project
> please let me know.
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