Writing by hand should be done more in classrooms
In elementary school, we would get excited when the teacher would roll out the bulky television set with a videocassette tape in hand. In middle school, typing up assignments to turn in was a new and exciting concept. And now, in high school, it's expected of us to use technology in all of our classes.
Writing by hand is slowly becoming an old-fashioned way of learning, and this is detrimental to the education of our students. In an age of rapid technological development, the value of pen and paper should not be forgotten. Educators should make a conscious effort to incorporate hand writing in the classroom.
The cognitive processes needed for each mode of communication are very different. "Handwriting is a complex task which requires various skills- feeling the pen and paper, moving the writing implement, and directing movement by thought," Edouard Gentaz, professor of developmental psychology at the University of Geneva, said . The process of learning to write helps children to master certain precise motor exercises, because writing forces students to learn how to write while developing concrete ideas.
The exact cause of the discrepancies in scores is unclear, but there lies a correlation between lower scores and the computer. "There is some evidence that, in part, the [score] differences we're seeing may be explained by students' familiarity with the computer-delivery system," Jeffrey Nellhaus, PARCC's chief of assessment, said in an interview in response to the report. In Maryland, district officials found that on average students that took the paper-based version of the PARCC English/language arts exam scored almost 14 points higher than students who had equivalent demographic and academic backgrounds but took the computer-based test. The pattern in the scores is significant enough to note the advantage that paper-and-pencil test-takers may have had for the test, and the advantages in general.
Note-taking with pen and paper is supposed to lead to a
higher general understanding of the content and easier memorization
. Students taking notes with their computer were
more likely to
write down the lecture or presentation rote dictation, but pen-to-paper documentation only gives students time to understand and summarize the content. The
problem with verbatim notes
is that students are unable to apply their own thinking to the lesson, leading to a lesser intake of knowledge.
As technology continues to be a larger presence in our lives, it is important to reflect on its impact. The written word is slowly becoming obsolete in the classroom and the benefits of the pen-and-paper method forgotten. Before, cursive was a requirement of all elementary school curriculums, and even that has been taken out . Now, cursive is almost like a foreign language to elementary school students.
It is important for teachers and other educators to be mindful of incorporating handwritten assignments alongside technology-based assignments. Both methods bring benefits to the table, but there are just some things you can't get from a computer.
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