These pages represent my research work on computers, learning and new media. I am currently starting my own company. From 2010 to 2014, I was a faculty member in the Department of Educational Technology at Saarland University. From 2007 to 2010, I was a research fellow at the Open University, working on the ShareIT project. Before that, I completed a PhD in Computer Science at Georgia Tech.
I currently type using the Dvorak layout on my TypeMatrix keyboard. I'm very happy with my speed, accuracy and comfort. I'm a huge fan of the TypeMatrix keyboard and highly recommend it to anyone looking for a better keyboard design. Go to their home page for several reasons why it is a better keyboard. The main reasons for me are:
About DvorakWhen I received my new keyboard I went ahead and made the switch to Dvorak. Was the switch to Dvorak worth it? In all honesty, no. This is what I had to do to learn Dvorak:
I had to stop using Qwerty and only use Dvorak. All of a sudden my typing speed went from really high to 5 wpm. Not good. Plus, it took a good amount of cognitive energy just to type. If you are a touch typist, you will not realize how easy typing comes to you until you switch layouts. Ouch! After two weeks of sheer frustration (i.e. I was getting e-mails that I needed to reply to, but they were much harder to reply to), I started using GNUtypist, which has a typing tutor specifically for Dvorak (you do need one specifically designed for Dvorak). That helped a lot. After about a week of that, I was up to 20 wpm, which was acceptable. After two more weeks, I was typing fast again. Dvorak is a better layout and I am a slightly better typist than I used to be, but I'm not sure it was worth the effort.
In short, if you want to have an interesting experiment, switching to Dvorak will provide it and you will get a little bit of payoff in your typing ability and comfort. Is it worth it? That's up to you. In contrast, I highly recommend buying a better keyboard (at least if you only type on one or two keyboards).