Technology definitely has it’s benefits for learning and students are encouraged to learn to keyboard at a young age.  For students who struggle with printing, computers are also frequently recommended in order to accommodate their difficulties.  There is benefit to learning how to keyboard over the long term particularly as it pertains to efficiency, as expectations for academic production increase with essays and report writing.

YET, mastering writing by hand also has value during the learning process and over the years as we age.  Writing by hand is a kinesthetic approach to learning, allowing us to access our “motor memory” and therefore improving our ability to recall new information.  I frequently studied for exams by writing notes and summaries from my textbook.   Writing by hand also facilitates organization of thought.  Therefore, for children who struggles with printing, it is worth the effort in teaching them to master  printing or cursive writing.

Here are several articles that speak to the benefits of writing by hand and how it can actually enhance learning:

1.  Writing by hand better for learning

2. Hardwired for writing

3. 4 benefits to writing by hand

4. Why handwriting makes you smarter


Lizette Alexander OT Reg. (Ont)