Is handwriting still important for children in this digital age?

Opinions in comments will be greatly appreciated!

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Computers are being used in education more and more every day, which may be reducing the use of traditional pen and paper. Children are now seen as a new generation of ‘digital natives’, meaning they have been bought up during the age of digital technology. They are familiar with technology from an early age.

Advantages of technology:

  • Information on computers is constantly updated, whereas textbooks become outdated.
  • Computers enable you to edit and share work easily.
  • Computers for all children in schools will cost a lot of money but in the long run it saves spending money on updating text books each year.
  • Typing is faster than handwriting.
  • Typed documents look more professional than handwritten.
  • Work can be easily saved on computers, whereas paper and work books can get lost.
  • Children have been bought up in the era of iPhones and iPads, so use technology in their everyday lives.
  • Easier for teachers to mark work.

Disadvantages:

  • Handwriting is something every pupil should be able to do well.
  • Long periods of time looking at a screen can be bad for your eyes.
  • Pen and paper is less distracting, even if you remove all the apps, they could still be distracted by the internet.
  • If children are using tools such as spell check, their spelling will not improve.
  • Computers can be unreliable – if internet stops working, or someone’s computer breaks down…

Although there are many advantages of using computers, I believe that children should still use pen and paper. Children will not learn to handwrite and spell properly if they are constantly using technology. Research indicates that children learn quicker through the use of pen and paper. In a psychological science paper posted in April, the researchers claim that note – taking with a pen, rather than a laptop or iPad, gives students a better grasp of the subject. Students concentrate less when typing instead of writing, as tools such as spell check are available, meaning spelling will not improve. Experts claim the move from pen and paper to computers could damage a child’s brain development. Students’ motor and visual skills, eye – to – hand co – ordination, spatial awareness and cognitive function is improved when learning to handwrite. Research also indicates that writing with pen and paper improves the retention of information and the flow of ideas.

Learning to use a computer and typing are necessary skills that pupils should learn, although I don’t think it should completely take over from using pen and paper. Children benefit more from handwriting rather than typing, as more attention is paid as they write, making it easier to be remembered later. Of course, there are benefits of using computers, such as typing is faster and it is easier to edit and share work, but the learning and developmental benefits of using pen and paper are much more important for children. As handwritten exams are still used today, students who cannot write properly are at a severe disadvantage. This is why it is so important that handwriting is still a main focus in schools.

Children today use technology in their day – to – day lives, with 86% of households in Great Britain having internet access in 2015. A majority of children will go home from schools and play on some form of technology. If students were then to come to school and use technology all day, spending too much time on technology could affect things such as eyesight and sleep. I attended a school where every child was given an iPad. I found that instead of looking at work on the iPads, the majority of students were playing games. Even when the school was able to remove the apps, games and other distractions are still available on the internet. Students will always find another way of being distracted when using computers or iPads, no matter how many blocks schools put on.

In conclusion, there needs to be a balance of computers and pen and paper in schools. It make sense for computers to be used for research and information, as it costs a lot of money to constantly buy new updated textbooks each year. Handwriting is important for children’s cognitive development and is a skill needed throughout life. Handwriting is definitely still important, even in this digital age.

 

 

 

Author: imogenterry

Second year Bath Spa University student studying Education.

21 thoughts on “Is handwriting still important for children in this digital age?”

  1. Digital age or the ensuing Ice Age, handwriting is definitely still important, a fact willingly confirmed by all those who have had a ‘propah’ education as its advantages far outweigh its disadvantages. In short, a neat and good handwriting is something to be proud of, because it forms a very important aspect of education and remains the primary tool of communication to this day!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. A really good article. I am a firm believer in handwriting and I have a son that really struggles to write. It teaches discipline and perseverance and, I agree, that you retain knowledge better when you write which is why both my sons study with a pen in their hands and a book in front of them. You didn’t mention punctuation but that is also much better taught in a written form rather than on a computer.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I made sure to teach my homeschooled son handwriting and cursive. I think paper and pen has benefits that technology will never touch, no matter how advanced it gets. There is something genuine and authentic about our own writing.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. Nice post though I have a caveat with the handwriting and will be at odds to some of your other commentators. Cursive handwriting should have no place in the curriculum. Speaking as one whose life was made a misery because I could never manage cursive properly, it was a detestable idea from the Victorian age which was designed purely to separate the classes, rather like using a knife and fork! Teaching print handwriting by all means but cursive is dreadful. And the more beautiful and stylish it is the harder it is to read! I nearly lost all interest in writing as a result of those horrible school days.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. I favor handwriting skills but then I’m of an age where that should be expected. Wanted to say thank you for swinging by the “Ranch” and for the follow. We ❤︎ visitors, especially ones who pose thought provoking posts. Best wishes with your blog.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. I think hadwriting is stil important. When we find new ways to communicate we shouldn’t lose the old. And there will be times when an electronic device isn’t available. But then, I’l old school.

    Like

  7. My handwriting is appalling and I’d get rid of it in a heartbeat but… it is still essential to me in focusing ideas and condensing thoughts. So yes the pen as an extension of the brain is crucial. And thank you for the follow…

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I completly agree with you. I honestly had the best childhood without so much technology! It shocked me when my daughter came home with homework to be done online , she’s 9. I think handwriting it soo important and must be practiced, there really should be a healthy balance. Great post love ❤

    Liked by 2 people

  9. This is a subject very near and dear to my heart. I watch my grandchildren become so efficient on computers and now they’re not even teaching cursive writing. We make sure to print our names when we sign birthday cards for fear they will not be able to read them. I find this most distressing that kids fine no value whatsoever in your handwriting and the schools seem to support this idea. Call me old-fashioned but I don’t know a child anywhere who still does not enjoy getting a card in the mail!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I believe that hand writing is a very important aspect of every one’s life. The fact that everything is going digital doesn’t mean it’s importance should be overlooked.

    An educating post. I like it.

    Like

  11. handwriting is still the best.. it teaches us to improve our cognition in terms of focus and attention as well as memory, fine motor skills is also improved..it is good for our sensory as well… i have kids and im still making them focus on handwriting….im hoping i have the energy to teach them cursive writing…

    Like

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