The New Debate: Typing vs Handwriting

Laptops and tablets are now commonplace in schools of all levels. As students get older, the reliance on technology increase as homework, papers, quizzes and tests are expected to be completed and turned in electronically. But is this the best option for learning?

According to the Wall Street Journal article, “Can Handwriting Make You Smarter”, by Robert Lee Hotz, typing material helps students keep up with the pace of class and is generally faster that handwriting in every way. But is faster always better? The article cites several recent research studies from Princeton, UCLA, and the University of Nebraska that promote handwriting for a number of reasons. “Compared with those who type their notes, people who write them out in longhand appear to learn better, retain information longer, and more readily grasp new ideas”. Additionally, people who hand write notes tend to conceptualize the material and digest it during the lecture, allowing it to move to long term memory. Coming from a linguistic standpoint, handwriting continues to develop the skills of identifying key ideas and important details, creative writing, and summarizing. Furthermore, handwriting has the added benefit of improving motor skills.

Many younger children struggle with handwriting and are given a keyboard as an accommodation. But the findings of these new research studies suggest the importance of continuing development of old fashioned writing for the benefits of language and learning. If your child struggles with handwriting, call Therapy OPS to receive recommendations on how you can help your child succeed.

For the full Wall Street Journal Article, visit: