We’ve all been in the rather uncomfortable position which some poor spotty youth is in right now- sitting over a desk, scribbling pages and pages of ‘Knowledge’ as fast as one possibly can. Yet in this technological era should we even bother with hand-written essays and more importantly to what extend does this longer method prevent students from getting down their ideas down?
It’s been drilled into us how we must conserve this valuable skill, handwriting, using it in every possible situation, yet is it not time to step down and let things like “Word” take over from this maybe ‘too ancient’ method?
Personally I would say no, if you do that you’re left with our future generation being even lazier then they already are. Imagine things like shopping lists and postcards, though I am aware there are various ‘apps’ that can achieve these simple tasks it’s actually quicker to grab a pen and paper then to go through the hassle of turning on and signing in on a computer.
Staying more focused on the topic of high-school essays, these tasks provide perfect practice for hand-written work and we need practice. Our handwriting is part of our identity; it shows a person if we are tidy or smart, creative or neat.
Yet we cannot ignore the disadvantages of handwritten work. There is little doubt that this is indeed a much longer and duller process. It’s important to catch the student’s attention and make good use of it in the short time you have it. Typing produces a much neater and well organized piece of work that can be edited easily and without the reader noticing, preferable to the scribbles and crossing outs that a handwritten piece of work is sure to produce.
It can make it easy for pupils to view, distribute and reproduce work. That alone would certainly get rid of the “My dog ate it, Miss” excuse (“Well go print another!). The idea of having to sit and write a piece of work by hand can put students off the work and if it is word processing they prefer, then let them get on with it. It’s the ideas and content that are most important, not the method of how it’s put on the page.
It’s a rather balanced argument and so maybe the answer is just to be sensible. It must be realised that not all students enjoy scribbling down work for hours and that word processing is the modern alternative, yet we must be careful. Essays provide the perfect opportunity for students to practice the invaluable skill of handwriting; they just lack arguably the most useful creation of man—spellcheck.