It’s no secret that the world is rapidly changing as technology advances. Since the COVID-19 pandemic, many jobs and schools offer more online-learning options than ever before. Writing for work, leisure, business and school is often done online now as opposed to with pen and paper.
Some people may wonder why kids even need to learn handwriting in the age of technology. When most people “write” by typing or even speech-to-text, what’s the point of learning old-school handwriting?
Some parents might wonder if their kids would be better off learning to code as opposed to learning handwriting. As artificial intelligence advances, will handwriting be relevant at all in the future?
Despite the changing landscape of technology and education, handwriting is still a crucial and relevant skill. There are some important reasons to keep it around, too.
As AI advances, many educators and professionals worry about kids relying on technology to cheat. Instead of learning, they may use AI to write essays and answer exam questions. As such, it’s possible that classrooms will return to paper and pen assignments for exams and essays to make cheating more difficult.
Fine Motor Skills
As kids develop, it’s important they master fine motor skills. According to the United Kingdom Government, “Young children need many opportunities to develop fine motor skills alongside gross motor skills so they can become confident to explore the world around them.” One way that fine motor skills can be developed is through handwriting.
Handwriting has been shown to offer cognitive benefits when compared to typing. A 2009 study titled, “Comparing Memory for Handwriting versus Typing,” found that people remember things better when they’re recorded using traditional pen-and-paper notes versus typed notes due to the greater complexity of the handwriting process.
Learning to read is a critical skill even in the age of technology. While assisted-reading is possible, having the ability to read opens up a world of books, research, jobs and more. Research conducted by the Australia Association for Research in Education found that handwriting and reading are intimately linked. Through handwriting, students become better readers.
Despite its prevalence, technology is still not accessible for everyone. By learning handwriting at a young age, people without access to computers or tablets can still write and put their thoughts down with a simple pencil and paper. Paper and pencils can be used virtually anywhere, even places where technology isn’t so easy to use. If you want to journal on a backpacking trip, a paper and pencil is far more effective than a device that needs batteries to charge, service to use, etc.
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