Importance of Handwriting in the age of highly advanced computers

14-5As truly said by James Robertson – I prefer the pen. There is something elemental about the glide and flow of nib and ink on paper. Writing is dated back to pictographs drawn on rocks which were used to represent ideas and developed into more abstract symbols. From writing a birthday card or letter, signing documents, taking notes and taking tests, writing is integral part of our daily lives and is reflection of our personalities.

Today, children are texting, tapping and typing on keyboards more than ever; however, despite the technological advances, writing is quintessential in the life of a person. It is a test of one’s capability and excellence, important in education and employment.

Research has concluded that handwriting skills increase brain activation and also stimulate the learning process. Students writing by hand remember letters better than those typing on a keyboard. Children who have the capacity to write fluently legibly and automatically are better equipped to generate and evaluate ideas, judge responses and organise their thoughts. Indeed, those with unclear handwriting struggle to write down their ideas and will quit the writing process sooner than those who write fluently.

Handwriting, as a skill, needs to be taught explicitly from a very early age, providing the foundation for correct pencil grip, letter formation and fluency through consistent practice. It remains a fundamental building block in all aspects of children’s education, affecting performance in all academic areas.

Assessment of handwriting incorporates observations of execution, legibility, and speed of writing. Execution includes correct and consistent pencil hold, posture, and letter formation. Legibility involves the readability of letters, as well as spacing within and between words. Speed is important as children advance beyond the first few grades so that they can use writing efficiently in a variety of tasks.

Even Gandhi ji in his autobiography has mentioned that he was quite upset with his handwriting. He acknowledged that handwriting is necessary part of one’s education.

With the aim to inspire the coming generation on the art of learning penmanship, Late Mr. D.K. Jain, pioneer of writing instruments in India, authored a book ‘The Luxor Handwriting Book’. The book talks about the discovery of alphabets, writing, human communication and handwriting. It also talks about the evolution of writing and with technological shift how apps like rED writing, IWrite words etc. have emerged to practice handwriting.