Is handwriting soon to become obsolete?
The advent of the digital age has meant our world is changing . The way in which we
communicate has changed fundamentally from a more formal style of letters and written correspondence to email and social media – a series of short, spontaneous messages we create and send within seconds. Our schools are beginning to see the benefits of using new technology in the classroom and the use of tablet computers to enhance the teaching and learning experience will become the norm in the next couple of years.
Does this mean that the children of the future will no longer need to be taught how to write? Do we no longer need to worry about the reluctant writer with illegible handwriting? Should the teaching of handwriting just be replaced with touch typing lessons or is their still room in this new digital age for the hand-written word?
I hear it often enough from the children I tutor. “Handwriting is boring!” or “I don’t need to learn to write neatly because I can just use the keyboard.” So why should your child be taught handwriting in the 21st Century?
- Learning to write by hand has a positive impact on emergent literacy – children need the opportunity to experience the spatial orientation and formation of letters in order to learn to read and write. Handwriting is part of a multi-sensory approach to developing literacy. Research indicates a correlation between handwriting and brain development. So teaching handwriting to emergent readers and writers is essential for their overall literacy development.
- I would argue that handwriting is still essential for everyday tasks – shopping lists (although I did see someone in Tesco with an iPad shopping list recently), writing a birthday card, taking down a phone message, completing a form at the bank.
Can we get by without the skill of handwriting? Or is it soon to be a skill rendered obsolete? What do you think?