This week when reflecting, I found myself thinking again about how much my life has changed due to advances in digital technologies. In a previous blog, I discussed how I have been working in the childcare industry for over twelve years. In the beginning, we had very little access to ICT’s so everything we did was hand written including the children’s learning, reflections and daily program. Some days I could write pages upon pages of information for hours at a time. Now days, we use I-pads, digital cameras and laptops to document all this information. Very rarely do I need to use a pen and paper, however, approximately a month ago, we had our power cut off for an entire work day within the building I worked. As we had no power to operate the devices required, I had to use pen and paper instead. After writing for only a few minutes, I realised just how quickly my hand was becoming sore from writing. I began to shake my hands, then got back to writing, but after writing another few sentences I again had to stop as my hand had developed a cramp!! I couldn’t believe that after only writing half a page of words I was feeling this way. It shocked me to think that it was only a few years ago that I could sit and write endlessly for hours at a time before these cramps would start to set in. I also noticed just how untidy and illegible my writing was in comparison to the way I wrote many years ago, even I was having difficulties making out the words I wrote!
This then made me think about how the over use of ICT’s maybe affecting specific skills including hand writing with todays students. I decided to do some research further into this and found an interesting article “Pupils losing marks in exams due to poor handwriting”, which discusses how research has found that the rise of digital technologies is having major impacts on students handwriting skills, with teachers unable to read exams, and emoticons creeping into students work. Another interesting article “Tech Savvy kids can’t push a pencil”, discusses the increasing number of students who are losing their handwriting skills, as digital technologies are leaving students with underdeveloped arm and hand muscles.
I would love to hear what others have to say about this topic?