Should we be handwriting more?

keyboardIn these days of touch screens and keyboarding, handwriting seems a lost art. Personally, I think that’s a shame.

I’ve also discovered studies show handwriting has the advantage over typing on creativity, memory, and information retention.

Don’t believe me?

Studies by Pam Mueller and Daniel Oppenheimer have shown that using your laptop or note app for note taking actually hinders your ability to learn information.

You can read their full research paper here or check out this Washington Post article on the paper:

Interesting conundrum if you’re a teacher. Do you allow your students to use technology or require handwritten note taking?

Even if we’re not students or teachers, the Mueller and Oppenheimer study suggests handwriting offers four benefits.

·Increases Conceptual Understanding

Stronger conceptual understanding means more success in applying and integrating of material.

·Enhances Cognitive Processing

You can only write so fast, so your brain processes more as your hand writes more of the crucial data. Typing may be faster, but cognitively the words of the other person are not sinking into your brain.

·Stimulates short-term and long-term memory

Handwriting stimulates more effective memory cues because you’re forming the context and content in your own words.

·PROVIDES Better focus

One pen, one notebook, one hand means not much that can distract your attention. A laptop, on the other hand, is a smorgasbord of focus distractions.

Personally, I prefer handwriting because I love wandering the office supply store or aisle for neat writing paper and lovely pens, and I think handwritten notes lend a personal connection that print from a computer can’t give.

So, food for thought. No definitive answers.

How would you answer the handwriting vs keyboarding question?



2 Comments on “Should we be handwriting more?

  1. I’ve been a proponent of writing notes and letters by hand for decades. Sadly it’s a dying art form–if we let it happen. I’m always surprised by how my letters are received–as a gift intended for no one else but that person. Certainly brightens up a day when you open the mail box and find a handwritten letter/note tucked among the bills. –Jane C

    • I agree, Jane. Nothing is more special than receiving a handwritten note. Wish more of us did the handwritten thing.

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