Handwriting versus typing – An apocalyptic age for the pen?


You’ve heard it all – the end is near, the age of handwriting, of calligraphy and of penmanship is over. It’s true that there’s been a significant fall in writing, and many stats to prove this point, such as the fact that one in three of us hasn’t written anything in the past 6 months.; while across the Atlantic, cursive writing doesn’t even make it into the Curriculum anymore.

Alongside this the meteoric rise of technology continues unabated, and it seems right to question whether this seismic shift leaves us worse off than we had nothing more than pen and paper.

Neuroscience – Let’s Dive Into the Technical Side of the Story

What does it take to put pen to paper? As it turns out, this skill demands much from us, and when mastered it has been demonstrated to:

Trouble is, 25-33% of pupils are struggling to come anywhere close to mastering competency in handwriting.

The (Many) Compelling Benefits of Learning to Type

Beyond the advantages that typing provides in terms of communicating globally within a matter of a few finger taps, typing also has its feet firmly in neuroscience. To demonstrate this, take a Typing Test. Do it now.

Back? It may not feel like it, but that seemingly simple 5 minute exercise required much from many parts of your brain, including:

  • The development of muscle memory
  • Automatic completion of complex tasks (known as automatism – a scientific phenomenon)
  • The development of fine motor skills and hand-eye co-ordination

Sheds a whole new light on that typing test, and the power of typing, doesn’t it? Alongside which are many benefits when typing is mastered, such as the chance to save time, improve productivity, increase focus and increase job prospects.

So, Is The Move Towards Typing Really Such a Bad Thing?

This shouldn’t be a battle between pen and keyboard, a war between paper and cutting-edge technology – each offers unique benefits.

[Doubt about the value of handwriting instruction] is similar to what happened with math as calculators and computers came into vogue… people wondered whether students needed to learn how to do math. The answer in both cases is absolutely “yes.” Writing is not obsolete.

– Daniel A. Domenech, executive director of the American Association of School Administrators

There are positive signs on the horizon for balancing the importance of being able to write by hand, with pupils who can embrace, and be empowered, by technology. Across in the US, cursive writing is experiencing a resurgence, and we can only hope that this is balance struck in more countries around the world.

TypeDojo is the only online typing test you’ll ever need to demonstrate your ninja-like typing skills. Ready, set, type – improve your speed and your accuracy.