In the age of digital media, have we all lost the art and love of handwriting?
This is a blog about the importance of literacy and handwriting.
The Importance of Handwriting:
This is a blog introducing the annual #PenATweet Day, inspired by a blogpost I first shared in May 2014, The Importance of Handwriting. After an incredible response from readers, and after sharing my own handwriting image below, this sparked the idea of tweeters sharing their thoughts in writing, whilst encouraging a love of handwriting through the use of social media tools.
“As an adult, my own handwriting has always been appalling and I know this is unacceptable as a teacher of literacy. Dare I say, when handwriting school reports (only a few years ago) my handwriting was still improving before the digital-era took over!” (@TeacherToolkit)
The art of handwriting has been under scrutiny after new figures show that two-thirds of teachers admit not giving students the marks they deserve because of poor writing.
“… electronic methods of communicating – email, Twitter, Facebook – have more or less replaced the need for pen and ink. Most of us today don’t even sign cheques, and legal documents are just as valid online as they are in print.” (Can signatures survive the digital age?)
On Wednesday 1st July 2015, Jean Edwards and I have anointed this day as ‘annual #PenATweet day to celebrate all things handwritten. As the digital era grows larger, the need for handwriting must remain a priority in all schools, as well as a priority for all parents and teachers. The cognitive argument that writing by hand has advantages for learning cannot be replicated in other ways. The act of writing by hand has been proven to help individuals remember knowledge and skills better. Even if you agree or disagree with this statement or not, we all as teachers should encourage everyone to improve their own handwriting.
So, get involved – perhaps consider a project in your own school too – and follow the simple guidelines below.
What To Do?
What we would like you to do is this (my example last year);
- In every tweet, use the #PenATweet hashtag.
- If at all possible, ensure that there is nothing else written into the tweet. Let the handwritten photograph tweet do the talking.
- Be creative, consider a small activity in your school and tweet along to #PenATweet. Spread the word and be creative!
- Focus your #PenATweet messages on these topics: education, teaching, school, handwriting, spelling, grip, communication and language.
- Let’s celebrate the importance of handwriting in the midst of a digital era.
I will tweet my own #PenATweet images on Wednesday 1st July 2015 at the following times: 7am, 8am, 1pm, 6pm, and 8pm.