Monday, June 16, 2014

Importance of Handwritting

Mom and I enjoy reading and sharing good books. She is also one of the very few people I still exchange letters with on a regular basis. Writing by hand is an important discipline to me. I often will write out first drafts of documents by hand, before transferring to the computer. I've long felt there's just something about the act of handwriting that can't be replaced by modern technology. It promotes creative thinking and a linear flow of thought, it slows me down in a helpful way, and it is a physical activity that gets my eyes away from the distraction of a screen.

Many scoff and guffaw at such antiquated thinking, especially with the rapid decline of handwriting curriculum in schools. But finally science is here to back up my assumption. Read this great article on the importance of handwriting to brain development, reading, memory, and creativity:

What's Lost as Handwriting Fades

Here's one quote to whet your appetite:
Two psychologists... have reportedthat in both laboratory settings and real-world classrooms, students learn better when they take notes by hand than when they type on a keyboard. Contrary to earlier studies attributing the difference to the distracting effects of computers, the new research suggests that writing by hand allows the student to process a lecture’s contents and reframe it — a process of reflection and manipulation that can lead to better understanding and memory encoding.

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