In a technology-centered world handwritten letters and notes are becoming less and less common as people grow accustomed to typing on laptops or text messaging on cell phones.
But, both print and cursive handwriting is still the primary way students are assessed in how much they know in the classroom. Now teachers are showing creative techniques to teach their students how to improve their writing.
According to Patty Bunce, a class presenter, "The sad thing is, sometimes kids don't have the ability to express what they really know from a level of education or intelligence because they're handicapped by poor writing or poor habits." Bunce says that the emphasis on note-taking in kindergarten through 5th grade is greater now than ever before.
Even as kids move up the educational ladder, studies show that students who took handwritten notes versus typed notes had better comprehension of the material. Furthermore, as Bunce notes, handwriting is a life-long skill. It is a skill that comes into play outside the classroom as well, filling out job applications, taking standardized tests, and filling out paperwork.
"People are still judged by the quality of their writing. SAT and ACT scores... exact same answer, one is easy to read, one is sloppy... which one do you think gets a better score?" said Bunce.
Teachers say that if handwriting is small, choppy, or illegible, the first thing that a person will think is that they are unorganized. Teacher Rose Hardwick says she hand writes notes to parents instead of e-mailing them.
“It doesn’t say the same thing, it doesn’t convey that personal communication,” says Hardwick. Patti Bunce shares Hardwick’s thoughts on handwritten messages, saying “nothing says I’m really taking the time to pay attention to you, the situation, the promotion or the interview like a handwritten note. Nothing will ever replace that.”