Handwriting is beneficial for learning and memory

In this digital world, most of the work is done through digital devices. People rarely write letters or create a shopping list on a note pad or write in a diary. Everything is being done on digital devices, and though many would argue that the digital way of writing is fast and easy, there are some disadvantages too.

The NTNU has published a recent study that shows how crucial handwriting could be for boosting brain activity. A member of the researcher team said that they saw an activation pattern with cursive handwriting that makes the brain open for learning. The activation pattern has been found very crucial for memory and encoding of new information in many studies. The pattern did not appear with typewriting, which shows that both writing ways are possessed in different ways by the brain.

Another researcher said that when you are writing by hand precise and fine hand movements are involved, such experiences create contacts between different sections of the brain and open it up, so we can learn and remember better.

According to Colby Wiley, a pediatric neuropsychologist, when we write by hand, the brain’s activity is boosted. It accomplishes tasks by activating networks of brain cells that allow different sections of the brain to communicate. Signals are transmitted via these networks that are turned into thoughts and actions.

A survey showed that Norwegian children and teens spend a good time online, almost 4 hours per day, and the use of digital devices is not only limited to home life. There are schools in the country that have adopted the digital culture and you would rarely see any handwriting. The schools in Finland are much more digitized, as only a few schools provide handwriting training.

It is being said that due to what has been happening for a few years, there is a risk that the next generations might not even know how to write by hand. The more digital activity is increased in the school, the more this risk would increase.

The ideal situation would be that children take full benefits of digital learning, but they should be trained at handwriting too. They should learn handwriting at school, as when they will be involved in such activities, the neuronal patterns in the brain would be established, which improves learning. Adults should also be involved in handwriting activities from time to time to maintain the activation patterns. The activities could be writing a shopping list, a letter, or anything.