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Robert Winner


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Should cursive writing be required in schools?

Only three state have made cursive a part of the core curriculum requirements while 45 states require proficiency in computer keyboarding at the elementry level. Some states have made cursive optional.

Has our society advanced to the point of where handwriting has become unnecessary.

What impacts can you see on not being able to write in cursive. Could printing be just as acceptable?


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    Dec 1 2012: I think it is difficult for us "older" folks to accept the changes in communication. The value of good penmanship was something that was important in our education process so we are reluctant to let it go.
    Young people communicate faster and more efficiently than we ever did, shortened words, snap chat, instagram....We talked on the phone for hours, they text, email, facebook, surf the net and watch netflix all at the same time. There were many who thought the Radio, telephone, TV, and even the Typewriter were ridiculous inventions. All of those things changed the way we communicate and the "old" folks of that time were probably annoyed about it.
    The nice thing about being a parent is that you can choose to educate your child the way you want them educated.
    I think the physically written word will become a thing of the past in the not so distant future. I'll always keep a hand written journal, but my kids will do theirs with Dragon.
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      Dec 1 2012: Are we really just 'old' and only me still in denial, or are we a transitional generation which came to see both sides of the coin?

      I was born in 1969 and at the right age when the digital revolution started to roll. I learned cursive writing AND to write my first program in BASIC. I played the video game Pong as enthusiastic as I played Diablo III just 37 years later. I operate notebooks in paper and digital, and I talk to my Dragon with the same patience as I do with my cat. Yet it takes hours of work to open a single file which I stored only 15 years ago, because I can not get the software to run on modern computers. Downward compatibility is a myth and digital storage devices are not lossless, they age over time as well. :o)

      I have a period in my life on which I have no paper record. In which I did not print out this beautiful e-mail of a friend, in which I did not write my thoughts onto paper and didn't print the pictures at a photo store. A single hard-drive failure wiped it all out. No backup, no data recovery possible at that time due to budget, drive dumped.

      Who prints out a tweet today? Sms? Facebook comments or pictures? What will young generations hold in their hands while walking down memory lane in their late 80s? Will Twitter still be there, or Facebook? How do they keep their digital memories alive? In 'The Cloud'? Run by companies who may burst in the next 'bubble' together with all their storage hardware? Will they be able to read their Dragon memos or listen to voice recordings at a time where pdf and mp3 have become as exotic as wax cylinder recordings are today?

      Personally I don't know anyone who keeps digital data up to date in formatting and compatibility. And the tricky part of 'good old times' is, that they appear later in life than we may think they will.

      Kids run in their personal 'memento vacuum' and not knowing it. The old term 'Horror vacui' may get a new meaning in the future. On this I truly hope to be just old and wrong.
    • Dec 3 2012: In prefer to keep penmanship good, Tiffany, any e it now needs to be kept *simple* as well.
      When 19th-century fashions in clothing fell out of favor, this did not means the abolition of good clothing.

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