Things are getting out of hand

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The art of handwriting could soon become a relic of the past. Reports this morning are suggesting that handwriting skills are in decline amongst secondary school students in Australia. This probably doesn’t come as a big surprise to many people as we’ve seen technology use multiply in the past 15-20 years. Yet I still believe that handwriting is worth fighting for.

Whether it was morse code, the dial up telephone or text messaging, technology has always revolutionised the way we communicate. And in recent times this has included the use of email, mobile phones, social media and the internet. The young generation find it very hard to understand a life without any of these things. My young nephew has been able to use a multitude of devices like the iPhone, iPad, TV and DVD player since he was two or three years old.

Having all these new tools available has significantly reduced the need to use handwriting. I can only imagine how reliant on technology my nephew and his generation will be once they hit their 20s and enter the workforce. Not only will technology have advanced even further than it has today, but this whole new generation will arguably be more tech savvy than any before them.

Call me old-fashioned but I think younger generations will be poorer if they can’t experience the joys of a handwritten letter or note. Personally I believe it’s something with which an email or typed letter just can’t compete. This is without even considering that poor handwriting skills will affect their performance in written exams and when transcribing notes in a classroom or lecture theatre. For these reasons, handwriting should be included in the secondary school curriculum and kids should be encouraged to turn off the computer and put pen to paper more often.

Do you agree? How can we improve the younger generation’s handwriting ability? Or should we just let go of the past and embrace new technology?

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Written by gedmc

11 Comments

Total Comments: 11
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    I think there will be a need for handwriting for quite a while yet. My high school nieces and nephews all write beautifully in their text books even though they do a lot of work on the computer. It’s up to the schools. All writing does not need to be done on a computer,other than doctors who are notorious for bad handwriting.

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    I agree. I also feel that putting pen to paper also makes you think about how things are spelt. A lot of skills are going out the window. Writing, spelling, talking face to face, etc etc. I say, “Bring it all back!”

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    Unfortunately it’s not just handwriting skills that will be lost, and we can’t blame it all on the schools where, until I retired three years ago, handwriting, reading spelling etc. were still being taught and I’m sure they still are, as are the skills of letter writing, form-filling etc. However, how many of the younger generation write letters these days, how many have ever filled in a bank deposit or withdrawal form, how many (even shop assistants) know how to work out change when purchasing an item ,if they don’t have a calculator…the list can go on and on. It all comes down to usage- if something is not used or seen as unnecessary it will be forgotten.

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    If the electricty ever fails, the world – as we know it- will come to an end.

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    As a retired schoolteacher too, I know that handwriting is taught until Year 6. I’m not sure why, but the immature printing style is taken up by many secondary students. I was asked to read over a Year 10 student’s work once and commented to the teacher that the handwriting was practically illegible (to me) and I was concerned about the external exam being understood by the marker. The secondary teacher’s comment was that the writing wasn’t too bad and would be ok for the exam markers! … So, what is happening between primary and secondary expectations of handwriting? I find that my own handwriting is not nearly as even as it once was – I do write daily, but obviously not enough.

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    I think, that for the small amount of writing that we actually need to do nowadays, if you can print legibly that should be quite sufficient. I am all for a paperless society.

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    gustacian. I remember when it was claimed that thanks to computers,it would soon be a paperless world. No so. What happens now is emails arrive at the office and are then printed. Everybody prints documents are printed in the case the computer crashes. So we’ve a way to go yet.

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    The amount of paper used (wasted) in my last workplace and staff’s lack of care about it really showed that a paperless office is never going to happen. People write longwinded reports that are filed and never see the light of day. The mice love it. A ridiculous waste of time and resources that I suppose builds egos!

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      Agree completely. I worked in a pathology lab and computers were going to save paper/trees. Results printed out by analysers had to be reprinted for the doctors reports and a hard copy printed for records. Reason given was that computer records can be lost. As well as writing deteriorating spelling is also getting worse and worse consequently pronunciation suffers, just think how many pollies and similar say “vunerable” without the letter ‘l’ that makes it ‘vulnerable.

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    Actual cat. Spot on.

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    It’s a shame but a fact that cursive handwriting is on the way out because it appears not to be being taught in most schools today. Children are taught to print, holding the pen in their hand in such a way as to prevent the fluidity of cursive. It certainly will be a thing of the past in the future and probably not required anyway due to computers being used for all written work in schools.
    See ‘Desiderata’.. this is the way it should be. I still write and love cursive writing but it won’t be required in the future.


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