Why We Still Need Handwriting
Why We Still Need Handwriting
  • Reporter Jeong Ye-ji
  • 승인 2024.02.29 11:45
  • 댓글 0
이 기사를 공유합니다

▲Handwriting / Britannica
▲Handwriting / Britannica




  Look around you. If you are a student placed in an educated square, what proportion of your peers have smart pads? If you are an office worker, what percentage? I believe the answer would be close to 90 percent. Today, the world is a place where smartphones and laptops are bases for an individual. In addition, with the emergence of iPads and Samsung tablets, the era where tablets are considered essential has arrived. Tablets have further increased the utility of e-books and OTT services. Moreover, with the ease of handling documents such as PDFs, writing on the screen has become commonplace.

  Diving into my experience, from junior year, there was a significant necessity in submitting assignments in document format, and upon entering college, submitting online became the norm. Even while studying, I find it more familiar to take notes and organize on my iPad using an Apple pencil. Although there are fewer occasions to hold a pen, sometimes it feels odd when done, and applying pressure feels strange at times. Moreover, most of the reports handed out are done by typing. Despite the importance of handwriting, its frequency of use is decreasing.

  In order to find out which of the following strategies among handwriting, typing, or drawing is the most efficient for optimal learning in class, an experiment was done at Norwegian University of Science and Technology Trondheim, Norway. The study, which included 12 young adults and 12-year-old children, used high-density electroencephalogram to study brain electrical activity as participants were writing in cursive by hand, typewriting, or drawing visually presented words that were varying in difficulty. Results showed synchronized activity in theta range in the parietal and central brain regions when writing by hand digitally, indicating optimal conditions for learning. Similar activation patterns were observed during their drawing. However, typewriting exhibited desynchronized activity in theta and alpha ranges, with unclear implications for learning.

  Similar patterns were observed in twelve-year-old children, albeit to a lesser extent. The study highlights the importance of early exposure to handwriting and drawing activities in school to establish beneficial neuronal oscillation patterns for learning. Sensory-motor integration, as well as fine hand movements during handwriting and drawing, underscore the importance of maintaining both activities in learning environments to optimize learning outcomes. In summary, this experiment shows that while typewriting, cursive handwriting, and drawing each engage distinct processes, handwriting, and drawing exhibit similarities not seen in typewriting.

  Author Mark Seifer, known for his authoritative analysis of handwriting, suggests that handwriting not only contributes to balanced learning effects in the brain but also aids in emotional stability. Students who take handwritten notes tend to better solidify class material in their memory and also activate the prefrontal cortex responsible for rational judgment and decision-making.

  Some may view handwriting as a relic of a bygone era gradually disappearing in our increasingly digital society. However, the benefits gained through handwriting are far from insignificant and should not be lightly dismissed. But since we cannot just push technology aside, we should know how to embrace the learning environment for students to adapt to new technology and digital changes.