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Keyboards are changing the physical connection between writers and text, and people who cant business write by hand, like the blind or paralyzed, can now use tools to communicate solely by touch. I suppose its easy to mourn the passing of one era into another. When a new writing technology develops, we tend to romanticize the older one, trubek wrote. The supplanted technology is vaunted as more authentic because it is no longer ubiquitous or official. Sure, ill miss the intimacy of letters, the nostalgia of cursive lessons in schools and the beautiful scrawl of a well-practiced signature written with a pen. And while some pathways in our brains will atrophy with the decline of handwriting, as Trubek noted, well develop new ones as we swipe, double-click and abbreviate our way into the future. like us on Facebook published In: beyond Technology Exploring the human and social side of the digital revolution, and how everyday people use technology in new and extraordinary ways. You might Also like: Want More Great Stuff?
Technology has threatened writing in its various arts — calligraphy, penmanship and cursive — long before every man, woman and child carried a phone. It came with the invention of the typewriter, which standardized written communication, and that same argument will reappear as roles technology advances. I dont know if handwriting will ever die. But today, the growing emphasis on typing is having far-reaching effects. To get a glimpse of the future, just look at the youth. Instead of curly Qs or loopy Ls, kids are sprinkling emoticons to give a personal touch. Typing is more democratic, too — it isnt a complicated skill to master.
In more modern times, you may remember spending hours learning the correct stroke, formation and spacing of upper- and lower-case letters. But today, schools are shifting the focus to coursework. Stem — short for science, technology, engineering and mathematics. With limited hours and an increased pressure to meet higher standards, teachers are emphasizing technology and tablets and less of the written word. Most states began adopting a common Core standards, which no longer mentions readable printing or cursive handwriting as a requirement. As a result, educators protested the change, and last year, 150 of them gathered in Washington,. What did they want? To keep teaching handwriting — because it helps the development of children.
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Hes sending the letter from halfway around the world. For the children, too, those letters and pay their crinkly postmarked envelopes are an enduring treasure that e-mails simply cant replace. Time to move on, handwriting has existed for about 6,000 years, according to Anne Trubek, who is writing a book on handwriting, to be published by Bloomsbury next year. Its one of our most important inventions. Without it, we wouldnt be able to record knowledge or pass ideas from one generation to the next. Most of us know, but often write forget, that handwriting is not natural, she wrote in a piece for the pacific Standard.
Its not like seeing or talking, which are innate. In early America, as Trubek has written, only wealthy men and merchants learned to write and a good hand became a sign of class and intelligence as well as moral righteousness. Most, meanwhile, signed legal documents with a mere x and the presence of a witness. Writing only spread to the masses in the 19th century, after schools taught print and cursive. Penmanship exercises were done to a metronome and compared to drill training, tamara Plakins Thornton, author. Handwriting in America: a cultural History, told the new Republic. Writing has always been serious business — left-handed students often had their arm strapped tightly to their bodies, so theyd learn to write with the correct hand.
And if you want to add to their creativity, give them an imaginary friend. When it comes to ideas and memory, the hand has a special relationship with the brain. Remember that adage, write it down so you wont forget it? It turns out its true. If you jot down a note — and then lose it — youll be more likely to remember what you wrote than if youd just tried to memorize. Feder added thats because handwriting requires you to execute a series of strokes to form a letter.
With typing, however, you just touch a button. Handwriting also has tangible effects on communication. According to the wall Street journal, berningers study found that grade-school kids expressed more ideas when writing instead of typing. Writing affects not just the development of how you think, but how deeply and how expressively. But beyond the practical, critics say the decline of handwriting is the death of a more romantic era. Consider my friend, whose husband sent her hundreds of e-mails while deployed in Iraq. He also wrote a few letters, which she kept and re-reads from time-to-time. It feels more personal to think of him collecting, composing and writing his thoughts from a dusty bunker, she said.
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In short, theres a direct link between writing supermarket skill and academic success. People should take a second look at how important handwriting essay might actually be, laura dinehart, assistant professor at Florida International University, told, fiu magazine. And public schools should rethink how much they focus on handwriting in the classroom and how those skills can really improve reading and math. But what is it about writing that predicts achievement? Nobody knows, at least not yet. Thats kind of the next phase of our research, she said. Were trying to understand what it is about writing that predicts later achievement. Regardless, if youre a parent, there are exercises you can do to help your kids develop their grasping technique. At home, they can play with Play-doh, draw with chalk or use scissors, all of it to hopefully improve handwriting and more.
The more children write, the more connections they build, but poor handwriting also builds faulty pathways. According to brain imaging studies, cursive, in particular, activates parts of the nervous system that stay quiet during typing. It helps you connect things, virginia berninger, a professor of educational psychology at the University of Washington, told, the daily news. There really can be some advantages to cursive. We found individual differences whether children had skills for each kind of writing. Good handwriting can lead to better grades, too. Studies show that pre-kindergarten kids with fine motor skills scored higher years later essay in reading and math than those with poor handwriting.
of the digital age. But handwriting isnt just a matter of style — its a complex skill that affects your cognitive development and exercises your visual, motor and memory circuits. When you write, you build hand-eye coordination and practice fine motor skills. In fact, a field of research, called haptics, focuses on the connection of touch, hand movement and brain function. According to the wall Street journal, studies show that handwriting engages different circuits of the brain than typing simply doesnt. And those strokes and pressures of the pen actually send messages to the brain, training it in vision and sensation. The study of handwriting, called graphology, claims to infer character traits — like laziness, creativity or organization — just by looking at your written words. That repetitive process of writing builds motor pathways into the brain, katya feder, a professor at the University of Ottawa School of Rehabilitation, told the los Angeles Times.
Instruction that is engaging, motivating, and relevant improves students writing performance. Feedback and reinforcement. Monitoring and frequent assessment of students performance guides instructor/therapists selection of handwriting golf instruction methods. Providing frequent individualized feedback about a students work helps to maintain his or her engagement in writing activities. Approach to Instruction. When co-teaching models are used, students benefit from the skill sets of multiple instructions. . The evidence to date indicates that student achievement is the same when co-teaching and regular teaching models are compared. Integrating occupational therapy services into the classroom allows students to receive services while remaining in their learning environment, enables the occupational therapist to understand the curriculum and classroom rules, and enables the teacher and occupational therapist to benefit from observing each other. Co-teaching allows the entire class to benefit from occupational therapy services for handwriting instruction.
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For most children to develop automatic, legible handwriting, specific instruction in handwriting is needed. When the mechanics of handwriting become automatic, the student can better focus on writing content and composition. Linking handwriting instruction to authentic writing and writing practice is an important step in students becoming fluent and competent writers. Students must learn that the purpose of handwriting is communication and that it is important for their handwriting to be readable by others. Handwriting Programs with demonstrated efficacy include the following instructional elements: a) teacher modeling of letter formation b) Visual/verbal cueing that is faded as students progress c) Copying from a model d) Self-direction (verbal self-talk) e) Repeated practice f) Self check for own handwriting. . Frequent assessment and feedback are with critical to learning handwriting and writing includes: a) Adult correction of errors, b) Self-evaluation, c) Recognition for students effort. Visual motor integration, dexterity, and hand movement sense are important to the development of effective and automatic handwriting skills. Manuscript handwriting using a continuous, vertical stroke appears to be easiest for students with motor planning and visual motor integration problems to learn. The application of cognitive interventions such as visual cueing and memory retrieval improves handwriting fluency.