Friday, March 6, 2009

Real writing

When I was at school we were taught "real writing" and spent years painstakingly practicing the art. In those days that was excellent preparation for a future where handwriting still mattered. Later on in school, the girls got the chance to learn touch typing as a preparation for secretarial work whereas boys concentrated on things like woodwork (or in my case Latin!).

TonyKarrer's blog eLearning Technology has a new post (Cursive writing - outraged?) wondering why children today still learn cursive writing despite the fact that few will need it later whilst almost no-one learns touch typing, a key skill for the future. I can't help admiring the keyboard skills of women who learnt touch typing in their youth as they effortlessly type reports without even looking at the keyboard. The rest of us, however, battle away with two fingers.

Even if the younger generation can type text messages at the speed of light their keyboard skills can't compete with their mothers or grandmothers. Surely it's time to bring back some basic keyboard skills to schools, possibly at the expense of some of the handwriting classes.

1 comment:

  1. I observed in a second grade classroom here in the US and was stunned to see the children learning touch typing! The keyboards were covered and they had to slip their fingers under the cover to type. There was a program that was like a video game. It gave them words to type and as they got each letter right the Tarzan character swung to the next vine. If they missed, he fell off and they had to start over. We didn't learn typing until the 7th and 8th grade - but these children were learning in 2nd grade.