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5 reasons kids still need to learn handwriting (no, AI has not made it redundant)

<p><a href="">Lucinda McKnight</a>, <em><a href="">Deakin University</a></em> and <a href="">Maria Nicholas</a>, <em><a href="">Deakin University</a></em></p> <p>The world of writing is changing.</p> <p>Things have moved very quickly from keyboards and predictive text. The rise of generative artificial intelligence (AI) means <a href="">bots can now write human-quality text</a> without having hands at all.</p> <p>Recent improvements in speech-to-text software mean even human “writers” do not need to touch a keyboard, let alone a pen. And with help from AI, <a href="">text can even be generated by decoders</a> that read brain activity through non-invasive scanning.</p> <p>Writers of the future will be talkers and thinkers, without having to lift a finger. The word “writer” may come to mean something very different, as people compose text in multiple ways in an increasingly digital world. So do humans still need to learn to write by hand?</p> <h2>Handwriting is still part of the curriculum</h2> <p>The pandemic shifted a lot of schooling online and some major tests, <a href="">such as NAPLAN</a> are now done on computers. There are also <a href="">calls</a> for cursive handwriting to be phased out in high school.</p> <p>However, learning to handwrite is still a key component of the literacy curriculum in primary school.</p> <p>Parents may be wondering whether the time-consuming and challenging process of learning to handwrite is worth the trouble. Perhaps the effort spent learning to form letters would be better spent on coding?</p> <p>Many students with disability, after all, already learn to write with <a href="">assistive technologies</a>.</p> <p>But there are are a number of important reasons why handwriting will still be taught – and still needs to be taught – in schools.</p> <figure class="align-center "><img src=";q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;fit=clip" sizes="(min-width: 1466px) 754px, (max-width: 599px) 100vw, (min-width: 600px) 600px, 237px" srcset=";q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=600&amp;h=400&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=1 600w,;q=30&amp;auto=format&amp;w=600&amp;h=400&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=2 1200w,;q=15&amp;auto=format&amp;w=600&amp;h=400&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=3 1800w,;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;h=503&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=1 754w,;q=30&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;h=503&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=2 1508w,;q=15&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;h=503&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=3 2262w" alt="A child writes in an exercise book." /><figcaption><span class="caption">Technology changes mean we can ‘write’ without lifting a pen.</span> <span class="attribution"><span class="source">Shutterstock.</span></span></figcaption></figure> <h2>1. Fine motor skills</h2> <p>Handwriting develops critical fine motor skills and the coordination needed to control precise movements. These movements are required <a href="">to conduct everyday</a> school and work-related activities.</p> <p>The refinement of these motor skills also leads to handwriting becoming increasingly legible and fluent.</p> <p>We don’t know where technology will take us, but it may take us back to the past.</p> <p>Handwriting may be more important than ever if <a href="">tests and exams return to being handwritten</a> to stop students using generative AI to cheat.</p> <h2>2. It helps you remember</h2> <p>Handwriting has important cognitive benefits, <a href="">including for memory</a>.</p> <p>Research suggests traditional pen-and-paper notes are <a href="">remembered better</a>, due to the greater complexity of the handwriting process.</p> <p>And learning to read and handwrite are <a href="">intimately linked</a>. Students become better readers though practising writing.</p> <h2>3. It’s good for wellbeing</h2> <p>Handwriting, and related activities such as drawing, are tactile, creative and reflective sources of pleasure and <a href="">wellness</a> for writers of all ages.</p> <p>This is seen in the popularity of practices such as print <a href=";ContentTypeID=1">journalling</a> and calligraphy. There are many online communities where writers share gorgeous examples of handwriting.</p> <figure class="align-center "><img src=";q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;fit=clip" sizes="(min-width: 1466px) 754px, (max-width: 599px) 100vw, (min-width: 600px) 600px, 237px" srcset=";q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=600&amp;h=400&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=1 600w,;q=30&amp;auto=format&amp;w=600&amp;h=400&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=2 1200w,;q=15&amp;auto=format&amp;w=600&amp;h=400&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=3 1800w,;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;h=503&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=1 754w,;q=30&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;h=503&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=2 1508w,;q=15&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;h=503&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=3 2262w" alt="A book with a calligraphy alphabet." /><figcaption><span class="caption">Caligraphers focus on making beautiful, design-oriented writing.</span> <span class="attribution"><span class="source">Samir Bouaked/Unsplash</span></span></figcaption></figure> <h2>4. It’s very accessible</h2> <p>Handwriting does not need electricity, devices, batteries, software, subscriptions, a fast internet connection, a keyboard, charging time or the many other things on which digital writing depends.</p> <p>It only needs pen and paper. And can be done anywhere.</p> <p>Sometimes handwriting is the easiest and best option. For example, when writing a birthday card, filling in printed forms, or writing a quick note.</p> <h2>5. It’s about thinking</h2> <p>Most importantly, learning to write and learning to think are intimately connected. Ideas are <a href="">formed as students write</a>. They are developed and organised as they are composed. Thinking is too important to be outsourced to bots!</p> <p>Teaching writing is about giving students a toolkit of multiple writing strategies to empower them to fulfil their potential as thoughtful, creative and capable communicators.</p> <p>Handwriting will remain an important component of this toolkit for the foreseeable future, despite the astonishing advances made with generative AI.</p> <p>Writing perfect cursive may become less important in the future. But students will still need to be able to write legibly and fluently in their education and in their broader lives.<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important;" src="" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: --></p> <p><a href="">Lucinda McKnight</a>, Senior Lecturer in Pedagogy and Curriculum, <em><a href="">Deakin University</a></em> and <a href="">Maria Nicholas</a>, Senior Lecturer in Language and Literacy Education, <em><a href="">Deakin University</a></em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="">original article</a>.</em></p> <p><em>Images: Getty</em></p>


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ALDI shopper finds weird handwritten message on linen

<p>An ALDI shopper has revealed the odd handwritten note on her son's bedspread that she picked up in a Special Buys sale.</p> <p>She shared the find on a popular Facebook page and discovered the message in thick black texta on the fabric – a large note that appeared to read "LEMON FISH".</p> <p>“Did anyone get the truck single bed spread?” said Hayley-Maree on the<span> </span><a rel="noopener" href="" target="_blank">Aldi Mums</a><span> </span>Facebook page.</p> <p>“I just washed it and was hanging it out and it looks like it’s been written on.</p> <p>“It doesn’t have it anywhere else. Just wondering if anyone else got one and if it’s mark-free?”</p> <p><img style="width: 500px; height:281.25px;" src="" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/308d91f0fe1a41ef90b249c80d6c68a7" /></p> <div class="body_text redactor-styles redactor-in"> <p>Others quickly pointed out it's likely that the marks were made in the production phase of the bedspread.</p> <p>“It’s been marked while being made by the looks of it,” said one.</p> <p>“Measurements or maybe end of fabric roll - definitely take in for refund.”</p> <p>Added another: “What you have is a doona that is made from the end of the roll of fabric and has been marked as such. Not ordinary ink, won’t come out.”</p> <p>While it's currently unclear if the mum went into ALDI for a refund on the item, it would be great to know just what "LEMON FISH" could possibly be a reference to!</p> </div>

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What the royals’ handwriting says about them

<p>The way you write your letters, how you cross your ‘t’s and dot your ‘I’s says a lot more about you than you think. Your handwriting can reveal a lot about your personality, and this is the case for the royal family.</p> <p>Emma Bache, graphologist and author of<span> </span>Reading Between The Lineshas decoded some of the royal family’s handwriting. She told<span> </span><a rel="noopener" href="" target="_blank">HELLO!</a> her thoughts on the royals handwriting.</p> <p><strong>The Duchess of Cambridge, Catherine</strong></p> <p>"Catherine likes things very, very well organised, she can be a little bit dogmatic about things. Now, you might think that she is very calm because she has this persona in the media, and she is, up to a point, unless things don't go her way."</p> <p>Emma added: "She really needs people around her. She's conservative by nature – she's not going to upset anybody very easily. And her signature is right in the middle of the page; what you see is what you get. She knows her own mind, has a healthy ego and feels absolutely no need to put on airs and graces. Catherine is not going to rock the boat, ever."</p> <p><strong>The Duke of Cambridge, William</strong></p> <p>"William is much more like Catherine in that he is solid and steady but doesn't need other people's approval as much as Catherine does," Emma told<span> </span><em>HELLO!</em>.</p> <p>"His signature, he has this horizontal line going up which is sort of saying, 'I will come to you… keep your distance.'"</p> <p>Emma also wrote in her book about the Duke of Cambridge’s handwriting.</p> <p>"Prince William's handwriting consists of narrow letters but relatively wide spaces between words. The future King of England will be more than a little used to socialising and meeting an extremely broad range of people.</p> <p>“However, we can see that he is quite shy in reality and would not normally choose to push himself forward or hog the limelight. The wide spaces between his words show his need for some independence and privacy."</p> <p><strong>The Duchess of Sussex, Meghan</strong></p> <p>"The most obvious thing visually about her is all these curly 'q's and very slow writing, which is very mannerised and calligraphic,” explained Emma.</p> <p>“This is a woman who is used to being in the spotlight. These strokes that go over covering the words, that's self-protection; she's going to react to criticism.”</p> <p><strong>The Duke of Sussex, Harry</strong></p> <p>"Harry surprisingly likes his space around him, and he has, I feel, a persona of being a bit of a 'Jack the lad,' and almost a little irresponsible when he was younger," Emma told <em>HELLO!</em>.</p> <p>"But he's actually deeply sensitive, he likes his owns space, his moods are more up and down and he needs a bit more careful handling. There's a sensitivity here that other people don't see.</p> <p>"But his signature, which is how he wants to be seen by other people, he's underlined it and he's got these vertical strokes. He wants to be seen as, 'I'm absolutely sorted, I'm quite stubborn and I am going to have my way.' But the reality is he is actually more malleable and more sensitive to how other people see him."</p> <p>Scroll through the gallery to see the handwriting of the Dukes and Duchesses.</p>


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Duchess Meghan’s handwriting reveals this about her personality

<p>Majority of people thought that there wouldn’t be a public sighting of Duchess Meghan until after she gave birth.</p> <p>However, after the Christchurch Attacks, Duchess Meghan and Prince Harry made a special trip to the Embassy of New Zealand in London.</p> <p>This was to express their condolences about the incident. Prince Harry laid a bouquet of flowers and Meghan signed the condolence book.</p> <p>Duchess Meghan wrote:</p> <p>“Our deepest condolences. We are with you.”</p> <p>The couple then signed both of their names and added the Maori word “arohanui”, which means “much love”.</p> <p><img style="width: 0px; height: 0px; display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/7f1a04c8c8ee4a329b5779721cda95e9" /></p> <p>Professional graphologist Tracey Trussell said that Duchess Meghan’s handwriting revealed more than people think.</p> <p>She told <a rel="noopener" href="" target="_blank"></a>:</p> <p>“She has a perfectionist streak and desire for beauty and the nice things in life."</p> <p>Trussell then goes onto explain the insights into the Duchess’ personality that she’s able to pick up from her handwriting.</p> <p>"She has the self-discipline to maintain the right profile in-keeping with Royal life.</p> <p>“Nothing will stop her until she's satisfied her goal".</p> <p>Trussell also analysed another sample of the Duchess’ handwriting when they were on a trip to Belfast last March.</p> <p>“She wants to do good deeds in life.</p> <p>“She’s determined in the way she goes about achieving her far-reaching ambitions.”</p> <p>Do you agree with the handwriting expert? Let us know in the comments.</p>


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Is handwriting dead?

<p>Is the art of the handwritten word dying? The Finnish education system seems to believe so, with their announcement that handwriting will no longer be taught in schools from 2016. The move has prompted scholarly debate here in Australia, with a top university lecturer making the case that perhaps teachers’ time could be better spent.</p><p>Misty Adoniou, the Senior Lecturer in Language, Literacy and TESL at the University of Canberra has <a href=""><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong>written a thoughtful piece</strong></span></a>&nbsp;examining the role handwriting plays in modern-day life, as compared to the typed word. Adoniou traces the origins of the written word from chiselled stone to the invention of the ballpoint and felt tip pens, pointing out the reasons why our letters are written the way they are.</p><p>It is a common misconception that a person’s ability to write legibly has a direct correlation to their skill in forming coherent thoughts, or the way they craft sentences, but this is simply not the case. In a technology-driven world, are we fighting a losing battle by teaching children the exact way they must form their words on a page. As long as they can understand what they’re writing, surely that is enough.</p><p>When it comes to efficiency, children can type faster than they can write by the time they are eight years old. Surely that is a strong argument for the scaling back of time spent teaching children to produce a perfectly slanted cursive.</p><p>Then again, there’s something so personal and touching about receiving a handwritten note or card from a loved one. Seeing the way their hand has moved across a page to put their thoughts down just for you conveys so much more emotion than an email or text message. So why can’t there be room for both?</p>


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