Interesting timing, coming on the heels of a wide ranging discussion about Tablet PCs, UMPCs, slates, Inking, and touch. Newsweek is running an article that says some educators believe that the teaching of handwriting is a fundamental building block in learning. Here’s a quote:
Handwriting is important because research shows that when children are taught how to do it, they are also being taught how to learn and how to express themselves. A new study to be released this month by Vanderbilt University professor Steve Graham finds that a majority of primary-school teachers believe that students with fluent handwriting produced written assignments that were superior in quantity and quality and resulted in higher grades—aside from being easier to read. The College Board recognized this in 2005 when it added a handwritten essay to the SAT—an effort to reverse the de-emphasis on handwriting and composition that may be adversely affecting children’s learning all the way through high school and beyond.
Further the article points out that students who struggle with handwriting find that struggle creeping into their other studies. In fact there is a program called Handwriting Without Tears that is cited in the article.
Now in my mind it doesn’t take a great leap of imagination to see how Tablet PCs and UMPCs (that actually have real Inking ability) could help in these circumstances.