Handwriting v Typing

I have fond memories of handwriting in primary school.   I still remember my prep teacher showing the class how to write the letters in the air.  Later in school we practised everyday and the teacher would give us a mark out of ten.  My aim was to beat Juliet, the girl who consistently got 10/10 while I only got 9½.

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I now wonder where it has gone?  Don’t get me wrong, I still do handwriting once a week. But it doesn’t seem to have the importance it did when I was growing up.

And now comes the question of the 21st century!  With 1:1 technology do we replace handwriting with typing?

One of my deepest regrets is not learning to touch type.  I can type quickly and sometimes I come close to touch typing but I still stand in awe when watching my doctor’s receptionist!  But watching the children in my class, the digital natives, using their index fingers to search for keys makes me shudder.

That’s why I do teach typing in my class.  We use a wonderful site by the BBC in England.  Some of the characetrs have very amusing English accents, but considering most of us were brought up on the twang of Big Bird I don’t think it will harm them too much!

On BBC Dance Mat Typing, you follow the animals advice as they show you the home row and sing songs about the letters you need to find.

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It has certainly helped me in trying to touch type and I can now see children finding the home row and squinting to get their fingers to reach rather then searching for the correct key.

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What are your thoughts about handwriting and typing?

Do you know any other great typing websites or programs?

Leave a comment.

2 thoughts on “Handwriting v Typing”

  1. Hi Mel,
    I found your blog through Twitter! Why did I wait so long to join? 🙂

    I too spend precious minutes teaching cursive to my third graders, and then when they move to the next grade…they don’t use it! It doesn’t seem to be used/required any more.

    So, why are we teaching it? I do spend time teaching typing.

    Here is a link to my class website with a few games.

    typing links

    On there you will also find an iLearn link. @ktenkely did a great job putting a typing website together for her class.

    Great post!

    Linda Yollis
    California

    1. Dear Linda,

      Thank you for your comment. I have had a class blog for some time now and thought I would start my own for the teachers in my area. I love how quickly Twitter can spread the word and I can now share, and receive ideas, with people across the globe.

      I love the typing sites you gave me. I think I might have nightmares about the typing monster tonight! It seems my typing could do with a little touch up – especially my use of numbers on the laptop!

      I can’t wait to share these with the kids tomorrow!

      Thanks
      Mel Cashen

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