Breaking News: Writing Notes by Hand Is Good for You

The Wall Street Journal confirms one of my suspicions (and classroom practices!): writing notes by hand in class is good for you.

Read this:

Using advanced tools such as magnetic resonance imaging, researchers are finding that writing by hand is more than just a way to communicate. The practice helps with learning letters and shapes, can improve idea composition and expression, and may aid fine motor-skill development.

It’s not just children who benefit. Adults studying new symbols, such as Chinese characters, might enhance recognition by writing the characters by hand, researchers say. Some physicians say handwriting could be a good cognitive exercise for baby boomers working to keep their minds sharp as they age.

Studies suggest there’s real value in learning and maintaining this ancient skill, even as we increasingly communicate electronically via keyboards big and small. Indeed, technology often gets blamed for handwriting’s demise. But in an interesting twist, new software for touch-screen devices, such as the iPad, is starting to reinvigorate the practice.

Here’s the whole thing.  And here’s some information on the subject from Wheaton professor Alan Jacobs, whose comments on technology I enjoy.

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