Today, I read an interesting article about an eighth grader who couldn't sign her name in cursive. The piece went on to discuss how many schools are skipping "old school" skills like penmanship, in favor of new technology. I completely support the idea of kids learning valuable skills that they need in today's tech-savvy world, but to overlook basic literacy skills concerns me.
Are we really so consumed with technology that we can't communicate with one another unless there's a keyboard in front of us? Are handwritten birthday cards and love letters all destined to be typed and emailed? Will students no longer pass notes or sign each other's yearbooks because they can't write? Or will they do so in a cryptic print style that looks like a six-year-old taking his first stab at spelling the alphabet?
Imagine if all our historical documents were created in Word and saved in a PDF. The Gettysburg Address, the Constitution, the Emancipation Proclamation, or the Declaration of Independence all written on computers? No emotion conveyed through an extra loopy "y" or "g" and no personality. Without cursive, John Hancock would just be one of the many men who signed the Declaration of Independence—and not a household name that's become a synonym for signature.
A world without handwriting. Is that really where we're headed? If so, I think that's sad.