Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Computers are snuffing out handwriting; Wind Back.

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Computers Today, originally uploaded by ~inky.

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Schools take pride in teaching children to write beautifully. The children are given daily homework of copywriting with the aim of improving their handwriting. Special classes are also held for this purpose, and parents willingly pay for these. In today&aposs world of computers, how relevant is all this, considering that business and professional practices rarely involve handwritten notes.

The advent of the computer changed the way we live. Every home now has a personal computer, which is used to surf the internet, maintain records, write and receive emails, and for social networking. There is also the infotainment aspect, which involves music downloads and surfing YouTube. And at workplaces, no one can do without a computer anymore.

Computers have invaded our lives just as the telephone did over the past decade. From being a rare commodity which once needed a recommendation and months of waiting for allocation, one is now available within days. Also, despite each family owning a home phone, nearly every member has a personal mobile phone. Nowadays, most houses have on an average three phones.

The latest in the world of computing, the Netbook, is about to bring about a similar change in the number of computers that each family owns. An inexpensive and robust option, it is poised to have a tale similar to the mobile phone, wherein students, housewives and working people will all start owning a Netbook each - despite the presence of a personal computer in the home.

The most attractive part of the Netbook, and the reason it is catching on so fast, is that it is priced at around Rs17,000, which is one-third of the price of a branded laptop and definitely less than that of the PDA, a high-end phone at between Rs25,000 and Rs28,000. The market for the Netbook is clearly expanding, especially with the younger generation hooked on to the internet and middle-class Indians who are swelling in numbers.

To use a personal computer, laptop or Netbook requires the skill of accurate and fast tying, for which students of not prepared. Instead, educational institutions still concentrate on improving handwriting. The cursive handwriting style, which is taught painstakingly in schools - well rounded, alphabets joining together in a pattern - is clearly passe. Schools the world over do not follow this practice anymore.

While good handwriting is a visual treat, the reality is that there are fewer opportunities to see and appreciate handwriting these days. And what you don&apost use, you lose.

Those of us who grew up with good handwritings will appreciate that our hand doesn&apost produce such perfect handwriting any more, due to the lack of practice. We have now adjusted to haphazard typing on a computer keyboard.

In these changing times, the benefits of good handwriting is restricted to earning better grades at school and for investigation purposes. It still has some importance in education, since a neatly written examination paper is pleasing to the eye and can score some brownie points with the examiner.

College education includes multimedia presentations and rarely calls for handwriting submissions. Since handwriting has been used as a tool to reveal a person&aposs character or state of mind, some recruitment panels still utilise handwriting analysis. Crime investigations use handwriting to identify people, since each person has distinct handwriting.

However, in the business environment, with the trend of paperless offices setting in, technology is increasing at a very fast speed and keyboards have taken over much of the paperwork. Writing professionals use writing software, which has made organising chapters and appendices easy. With growing ecological concerns, the use of paper will become more and more restrained, and with that the use of ink on paper will reduce. Having good handwriting is plainly loosing its importance.

Copyright 2009 DNA Media, distributed by Contify.com

Source Citation
"Computers are snuffing out handwriting; Wind Back." DNA [Daily News & Analysis] 27 Nov. 2009. Educator's Reference Complete. Web. 29 Dec. 2009. .

Gale Document Number:A213073805

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