Today's Newsletter: Cursive’s Impact on EdTech - Tech Learning

Today's Newsletter: Cursive’s Impact on EdTech

Cursive still has some staunch school supporters.
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Guest post by Steven Baule, Superintendent at Muncie Community Schools, Indiana: One may think the debate over whether to continue (or in some cases bring back) cursive writing instruction in schools doesn’t really impact the EdTech community, but it does. Requiring schools to take the time to teach cursive may cause schools to slow down or eliminate the move towards paperless assignments, electronic portfolios, and other situations where cursive can’t be practiced easily. Despite this fact, cursive still has some staunch school supporters. EdWeek recently featured a story about a 2nd grade class poll via Facebook that went viral when asking if students knew how to read cursive.Cleveland.com posted an article in February about Ohio’s attempt to bring cursive back. Six states still require instruction in cursive: Arkansas, Idaho, Oklahoma, Tennessee and both of the Carolinas. Three other states have some criteria at various grade levels. Washington State is considering it. If teachers have to take time out of their busy schedules to teach cursive, they might not have sufficient time to make the most of 1:1 programs, digital collaboration, file sharing, etc. Of course, there are some cursive apps like the aptly named free Cursive Writing appHandwriting Apps for Kids, and others. Google provides handwriting support for at least 82 languages. Since cursive is no faster than printing, according to a 2013 New York Times article, what is the purpose of continuing to teach cursive writing? To read older documents? If so, the ability to read cursive can be mastered in about 30 to 60 minutes. Whatever happens, it is important for the EdTech community to be able to answer the questions around how to support cursive and integrate such instruction into a digitally rich curriculum.

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