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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 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.

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