Digital technologies have helped children to develop writing skills in multiple ways. According to the results of a survey from the Pew Research Center, 96% of the surveyed teachers agreed that digital technologies allowed students to share their work with a wider audience. In addition, the majority of teachers (76%) agreed that digital tools promoted greater collaboration among students.
What we already know determines to a great extent what we will pay attention to, perceive, learn, remember, and forget. Anita Woolfolk.
If so, you probably also experienced a feeling of searching through your “mental files” for the missing information. In doing this, it is likely that you often began by trying to associate the information with other known items. For example, if you have forgotten the name of a person approaching you, you might first try to recall where you know them from, who you both might share as friends, or some common interest. In all these cases, you are naturally (and strategically) seeking the connections that might assist in locating the elusive name. Effective student memory involves the creation of multiple meaningful connections between bits of information. Much like storing files in your computer, if you can’t recall the label you gave to the file, the search process may fail.
However, there is a problem: the use of technology has minimized the need for handwriting. Teachers require typed assignments, so the students are being encouraged to use the computer when completing projects. They are using their tablets and smartphones to take notes during class, so handwriting is brought to a minimum.
Why Should Children Write More?
The quality of handwriting is related to children’s ability to learn and write.
Handwriting gives students enough time to think and focus while writing. The typing process, on the other hand, is more mechanical.
The simplicity of the pen-and-paper method keeps the student focused on the task at hand.
Through handwriting, students express their personality.
How to Inspire Children to Write Longhand
It’s not too hard to inspire primary-school students to write by hand. The process of writing something on paper is quite attractive to them.
From high school on, however, students start relying on technologies more and more. They bring their tablets and laptops to class, and the teachers have no other choice but to let them use technology for learning. Many students from this age group find handwriting boring and tiring. At that point, we have to find ways to engage them in the process.
Here are some ideas to help you encourage children to write:
Give them reasons to write – a letter, a shopping list, a wishlist. If there are a group of children, ask each one to write an anonymous letter. Then, hand out the letters in a random order, and see if they can recognize the handwriting.
Create a positive writing atmosphere. Play an educational video and compare the notes that everyone took.
Ask them to describe events or landscapes through writing. Then, check their work and give them credit.
Make a project, such as a journal. If they use different colours and pencils, the final result will be not only educational but creative, too.
Ask them to write poems, stories, essays, and other creative assignments by hand. The main idea is to make them focus on the process of writing.
Key Elements Of A Good Brain-Boosting Activity
- It’s challenging. The best brain-boosting activities demand your full and close attention. It’s not enough that you found the activity challenging at one point. It must still be something that requires mental effort. For example, learning to play a challenging new piece of music counts. Playing a difficult piece you’ve already memorized does not.
- It’s a skill you can build on. Look for activities that allow you to start at an easy level and work your way up as your skills improve —always pushing the envelope so you continue to stretch your capabilities. When a previously difficult level starts to feel comfortable, that means it’s time to tackle the next level of performance.
- It’s rewarding. Rewards support the brain’s learning process. The more interested and engaged you are in the activity, the more likely you’ll continue doing it and the greater the benefits you’ll experience. So choose activities that, while challenging, are still enjoyable and satisfying.