The Covid Pandemic has accelerated the adoption of online learning.For many students this has been their only option for months. As such it is important that they are conversant with the use of keepads and/or voice recognition programs.
So is it important that teachers continue to teach handwriting?
Research indicates that handwriting develops reading and comprehension skills beyond that of the keyboard. Not only do handwriting skills lead to improved literacy, they also develop neural pathways not developed by tapping keyboards. Different mental processes are involved when learning handwriting.
Hence from a young age the learning of hanwriting skills is important. Apart from contributing to the devleopment of the brain, handwriting facilitates a personal form of self expression not evident elsewhere. For many people the style of their handwriting is part of who they are – it’s a form of personal stamp. For that personal touch, a handwritten card or note surpasses a typed note. It means more to receive a handwritten thank you note or card.
Just as online learning and software programs cannot fully replace face to face teaching, so keyboard skills cannot replace handwriting.
The danger is to believe that texting, zooming and facetiming are as effective at communication as seeing people face to face. Instincitvely most us know.. The technological forms of communicarion have their place (especially in cases when social isolation is forced upon us), but don’t be fooled that they can replace the pleasure of face to face interaction.
Beacause we are in a world of turmoil, it is imperative now, more than ever, that each child develops his/her personal identity. Developing your own handwriting style is one aspect of this.
If you would like to read more about Teaching Handwriting in School – Does it have a Place?, read our February newsletter.