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Neuroscientists Say Don’t Write Off Handwriting

Brain scans reveal crucial reading circuitry flickering to life when young readers print letters and then read them. The effect largely disappears when letters are typed or traced.

December 7, 2020

We look at two studies which compare handwriting to typing—both conclude that handwriting taps into brain networks associated with deeper learning. That doesn’t mean we should toss out our keyboards, though. Kids with processing disabilities like dysgraphia or dyslexia often benefit from computer technology, and all kids need to develop digital skills.

To dig deeper into the research cited in the video, see Eva Ose Askvik, F. R. (Ruud) van der Weel, and Audrey L. H. van der Meer’s 2020 study on the importance of cursive handwriting over typewriting for learning in the classroom and Karin H. James and Laura Engelhardt’s 2012 study on the effects of handwriting experience on functional brain development in pre-literate children.

To learn more about 2020's most compelling research findings for educators, visit: The 10 Most Significant Education Studies of 2020

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  • Brain-Based Learning
  • Literacy
  • Research
  • English Language Arts

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