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?

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