Hi everyone,

I am an English language teacher and, lately, I have seen many articles, webinars and forums focused on the wonders of mobile and e-learning. I am very enthusiastic about using mobile phones, smart boards, video-beam, tablets and laptops in class. However, I am concerned about the decline of my students' handwriting, as well as mine, due to this. Any thoughts on this topic? Thanks!

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Hi Amber,

I am also a teacher of English in a High school in Kenya. Only last month I was also granted the appointment to teach IT at the same level after having volunteered for over ten years. I do have a passion for both subjects. They compliment each other in very many ways. The demand for an assertive place and role of Info Tech in education has become more intense owing to increased digitization of massive learning and teaching resources  And to me, that's the far ed tech should go or let to.

This does not however alienate, usurp or replace the integral role and function of the teacher as well as the handwork of and by the student. Writing skills, as varied as they may be, are best learned by the student doing it.

On the other hand when pupils are drilled properly at elementary stage on how to write legibly, it is a skill that gets embedded into their psycho-motor system so hard that later years of clicking, typing and scrolling, cannot in any way  diminish their power of the pen.

Your fear, concern and observation is however of a very genuinely high magnitude that all teachers of Languages should be sensitive about.  Let us not let handwriting improvement be the first skill we enhance as teachers. Thank you teachers.

Hi to all,

To answer your question about hand writing banning of, I think that the trend is on the natural interdiction of the use of chalk and copy books because of their cost which is very expensive compared with marker and white boards and it may remarkably reduce the use of paper that is a threat for the environment.

But, anyway, the banning should be accompagnied with some measures and a large scale of information so that  it wouldn't be too brutal for unusual hand writers. And smart boards are very expensive for most african countries. Because I'm a Senegalese from a west african country.    

with the current evolution of the use of hand writing in many official correspondances, Its use at school also is following this trend. What is worr ying is the cost of informatic tools for many countries in the world.

Hi, I am a teacher that belong to  what i could referred to as OLD SCHOOL where we value ''hand writing'' so much. With the present trend of things, where technology has taken over,emphasis on writing has gone down. I will appreciate if this can be resuscitated.

 

Hi there,

I am an English Language teacher in a school in Lagos, Nigeria. It behoves any literate person to be very much skillful in writing with his/her hand. Writing legibly shows that one is an adroit writer. I believe it is important for as long as it is one of the basic skills of language learning. Technology should  serve as a supplement and where it is not available, hand should perform its task.

This is an interesting question! Penmanship aside, there might be equity and equality considerations;  for example, by banning handwriting, would students be required to have certain types of technology to be able to be participate and engage as much as their peers? For students who cannot afford this technology, would they be disadvantaged in any way? If you take different learning styles into consideration, some students learn better by writing things out by hand as well. I think that mobile and e-learning has come a long way and can be great teaching tools, but I don't think that you need to choose between one approach or the other. Sometimes it's better to allow students to go with whatever approach they are most comfortable with. 

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