Results from various studies have already shown that both children and adults learn more and remember better when they write by hand. The current study seems to confirm these results. The researchers found that handwriting contributes to better learning and memory performance compared to the use of a keyboard.
Handwritten records help people learn more and remember better, according to a study involving researchers from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology. The study was published in the English language journal “Frontiers in Psychology”.
Children and adults learn more and remember better when they write by hand. Even in times of digital progress, children should therefore receive at least a minimum of handwritten instruction.
Brain activity of participants was examined
Why handwritten training is so important
In the recently published study, the brain activity of twelve young adults and twelve children was examined. Previously, there had been no comparable studies in children, explains the team. Brain wave activity was measured and recorded with the help of over 250 attached electrodes.
The brain produces electrical impulses when it is active. The sensors in the electrodes are very sensitive and record the electrical activity that takes place in the brain, the researchers explain. Each examination lasted 45 minutes per person.
Handwriting improves learning
The results showed that the brain of both young adults and children is much more active when writing by hand than when typing on a keyboard or touch screen, the researchers explain.
“Writing by hand generates much more activity in the sensorimotor parts of the brain. Many senses are activated when you press on paper with a pen, see the written letters and hear the sound you make when you write. These sensory experiences create contact between different parts of the brain and make it easier for the brain to learn,” explains study author Professor Audrey van der Meer in a press release.
“Given the developments of recent years, we risk that one or more generations will lose the ability to write by hand. Our research and that of others shows that this would be a very unfortunate consequence of increasing digital activity,” Professor Van de Meer continues. The author of the study believes that national guidelines should be introduced to ensure that children receive at least a minimum of handwriting education.
Children already spend many hours in front of the screen in their free time, and this is now being reinforced by digital learning in schools, the researchers explain. Van der Meer believes that digital learning also has many positive aspects, but also urges handwritten training.
The results show how important it is to motivate children to draw and write at an early age, especially at school. In the digital age, however, children spend a lot of time in front of smartphones and computers and typing on the keyboard. The smartphone is a constant companion these days, closely followed by the PC and tablet.
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