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posted by n1 on Wednesday June 04 2014, @09:37AM   Printer-friendly
from the nothing-but-illegible-scribbles dept.

The NY Times asks does handwriting matter? The Common Core standards stop teaching handwriting after the first grade, preferring a proficiency in typing after that.

However, studies are showing that children learn faster, are able to retain more information, and generate new ideas when they first learn to write by hand. The process of thinking about how to form a letter and putting it on the page stimulates more areas of the brain. This come from the inherent messiness in free-form writing, which can be a valuable learning tool.

 
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  • (Score: 2) by frojack on Thursday June 05 2014, @05:21PM

    by frojack (1554) on Thursday June 05 2014, @05:21PM (#51804) Journal

    I gave you a link to the seminal study in this field, far more rigorous than anything you've posted, a highly cited piece of economic research, and you stomped off calling it a hit piece.

    Why would I dig up any more links for you?

    Ask your self this:
    With the electronic keyboard, there is ZERO additional cost to offering a Dvorak keyboard, and according to Dvorak, training takes but a week, and the costs are recouped in two or three months.
    Dvorak keyboards are available for as little as $15.

    So how is it that no major corporation (other than the tiny Dvorak Inc.) has ever pursued this inexpensive avenue of profit by cutting wholesale over to Dvorak?

    Quoting Economist Deirdre McCloskey:

    I am looking out at the Sears Tower in Chicago. The company must employ--what?--5,000 typists in that building alone. They now work on computers, not Remingtons. The hardware change to a new keyboard is trivial. The retraining cost of the workers is small--what, a week? Two? For a big gain, allegedly, in typing speed. Why hasn't Sears done it? Or any company anywhere the world? We're talking not of a centralized, political decision like nuclear power…but thousands upon thousands of opportunities for profit allegedly spurned.

    Nor is there any "lock in" for standard keyboards. Railway track gauge used world wide has a huge lock in, even thought the original choice of 4 feet 8-1/2 inches was purely arbitrary. The cost of relaying the world's rail lines locks in that gauge. Not so with Dvorak. They cost the same as regular keyboards, and learning to use it is easy.

    So:
    1) No significant cost to adopt Dvorak.
    2) No significant retraining.
    3) Supposed benefits accrue almost instantly, faster typists, lower medical bills

    Yet the world ignores Devork, except a few fanatics.
    Its been 78 years!!

    The inescapable answer is that there is no benefit. None. Homeopathy has a better track record!

    In fact, the economics strongly suggest that QWERTY is better.

    --
    No, you are mistaken. I've always had this sig.
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  • (Score: 2) by evilviper on Thursday June 05 2014, @06:29PM

    by evilviper (1760) on Thursday June 05 2014, @06:29PM (#51829) Homepage Journal

    I gave you a link to the seminal study in this field, far more rigorous than anything you've posted, a highly cited piece of economic research, and you stomped off calling it a hit piece.

    "Seminal study" my ass... Right-wing think-tanks push out crap all the time. You want to promote it it because it agrees with you.

    The "field" isn't even right. Economists know jack about keyboards, or analyzing studies on them. They're batting zero on evidence for their claims, anyhow.

    The inescapable answer is that there is no benefit.

    There are millions of possible answers. You picked one explanation that supports your biases, for which you have no evidence in support, and plenty of counter evidence.

    In fact, the economics strongly suggest that QWERTY is better.

    The economics strongly suggest that a Honda is vastly superior to a Mercedes-Benz, too. Economics is not useful when you want to know about science.

    --
    Hydrogen cyanide is a delicious and necessary part of the human diet.
    • (Score: 2) by frojack on Thursday June 05 2014, @06:45PM

      by frojack (1554) on Thursday June 05 2014, @06:45PM (#51837) Journal

      There is no science behind Dvorak. NONE!
      You've been duped. Face it. Your fad is ignored by the world.

      --
      No, you are mistaken. I've always had this sig.
      • (Score: 2) by evilviper on Thursday June 05 2014, @07:21PM

        by evilviper (1760) on Thursday June 05 2014, @07:21PM (#51854) Homepage Journal

        There is no science behind Dvorak

        Not even the peer-reviewed scientific study I linked? Strange. I could swear it existed.

        You just keep on singing...

        --
        Hydrogen cyanide is a delicious and necessary part of the human diet.
        • (Score: 2) by frojack on Thursday June 05 2014, @07:54PM

          by frojack (1554) on Thursday June 05 2014, @07:54PM (#51875) Journal

          Your so called peer reviewed study is paywalled.

          We don't eve know if the peers agreed or disagreed!!

          In fact, that study was referenced on only one other study, which found at best, a modest 4% difference in "digraph speed" [santafe.edu], a contrived test using only keys that are pressed with the same hand. This didn't translate to over all typing speed.

          So there you have it. The independent (non Dvorak inc) studies show 4% speed increase only on certain letter combinations, but no over all affect on prose typing speed.

          Which is why the corporate world has ignored Dvorak. It yields no measurable improvement.
          Spend the same amount of learning time on Qwerty and your speed will increase by much more than 4%.
          Homeopathy!

          --
          No, you are mistaken. I've always had this sig.
          • (Score: 2) by evilviper on Friday June 06 2014, @07:30AM

            by evilviper (1760) on Friday June 06 2014, @07:30AM (#52111) Homepage Journal

            Your so called peer reviewed study is paywalled.

            We don't eve know if the peers agreed or disagreed!!

            You're sure helpless, aren't you?

            http://www.worldcat.org/title/relative-efficiencies-of-the-standard-and-dvorak-simplified-keyboards/oclc/425403487 [worldcat.org]

            The independent (non Dvorak inc) studies show 4% speed increase only on certain letter combinations

            That's one study. There are many others.

            Besides, you need to get off the "speed" kick. I've already said that speed/accuracy aren't necessarily benefits. LESS STRESS always is, which reduces pain and injuries, and is precisely what the above study found.

            --
            Hydrogen cyanide is a delicious and necessary part of the human diet.
  • (Score: 2) by urza9814 on Thursday June 05 2014, @10:58PM

    by urza9814 (3954) on Thursday June 05 2014, @10:58PM (#51952) Journal

    Nor is there any "lock in" for standard keyboards. Railway track gauge used world wide has a huge lock in, even thought the original choice of 4 feet 8-1/2 inches was purely arbitrary. The cost of relaying the world's rail lines locks in that gauge. Not so with Dvorak. They cost the same as regular keyboards, and learning to use it is easy.

    How many data entry clerks do you know who know where the setting is to change the keyboard layout? Sure, the company could have their IT guys do it, but good luck finding people willing to use a different layout at home and at work. Might have been feasible a few decades ago before home PCs were common, but no way that's gonna fly today. Not to mention that most companies would rather pay a bit more every week than pay a lot up front to retrain all their staff. How often have we heard the story of the company that destroyed its future because it looked good on next quarter's balance sheet?

    And it's a *global* standard; are you seriously implying there's no inertia to that? Generally when anyone else sees my Model M with the keycaps arranged for Dvorak, they first ask 'what the hell is that?' And after I explain that I changed the layout, they then react with 'You can do that?!?' When I hand my computer to someone else and forget to change the keyboard layout, the reaction is 'Hey, your computer is broken, I swear I didn't do it!' Sure, it's easy enough to change *to us*, but to most people QWERTY is just the way all keyboards are.

    Personally, I've been using Dvorak since highschool. I get the same speed I used to get on QWERTY (just north of 100WPM -- not that speed tests say anything about real-world usage) with slightly better accuracy. But more importantly, my wrists don't hurt from typing anymore. That used to happen almost every single night. But I can't recall it happening even once since switching. Even on the crappiest of laptop keyboards (The Lenovo T400 I'm using at work is absolutely atrocious; I do have a Model M on my ancient desktop at home but mostly I'm using a laptop with "chicklet" keys)

    Oh, and just for fun regarding the thing about railways -- it was my understanding that railway gauge wasn't arbitrary at all, it was based on the jigs already used by wagon makers (who were making the early train cars) and those jigs were based on the ruts in old Roman roads (if your wagon didn't fit those ruts you were likely to break an axle) and the width of the Roman chariots was based on the width of a horse's rear. That could be an urban legend or something though.