Call it what you want—script, cursive, handwriting, cursive writing—School boards in Indiana and Georgia now have the option to eliminate it from the curriculum.
But, do we even care? In today’s techno-literature culture, where kids can operate computers before they can read, is teaching cursive writing a nostalgic throwback to a bygone era?
Some school boards think yes: they’d prefer to use the class time—which is at a premium—to focus on keyboarding skills.
However, what about those times when technology isn’t available to us, and we have to rely on our foundation in the educational basics—reading, writing, and aRthimatic? If kids were to find themselves in a situation where they had to leave a handwritten note, wouldn’t a printed note suffice?
Do kids need to use in-class time learning script?
Cursive supporters say, yes, it’s still a needed skill, especially when it comes to writing tests and in-class essays. Cursive is fast, fluid, and more automatic than printing due to there being less stop and starting, and it tends to lead to more creative expression in written essays.
If time is of the essence when writing essays, then cursive is quicker. But in order to get a point across, handwriting needs to be legible, or students can lose grades. So students still need to practice their penmanship; after all, if a teacher can’t read it, it can’t be graded.
And, there is evidence that the manual act of writing helps to stimulate cognitive processes.Wheter it’s printing or cursive, the pen-to paper act of physically writing helps the cognitive processes and can improve memory.
Researchers say that this might be because forming the letter by hands requires more steps than simply recognizing a pre-formed shape on a keyboard—it requires a more dynamic mental process.
However, if teaching your tech-savvy kids a scrolled script using pen and paper seems too low-tech, well, there’s an app for that. Students can practice their cursive using a stylus on iPads and iPhones.
The irony of using technology to practice a supposedly out-dated skill is duly noted.
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Whether it’s big goals or small goals, once a goal is met, it’s something to celebrate.
Former Oxford Learning student Sara Albers had big goals—Olympic-sized goals in fact—and this month she reached them at the 2011 Special Olympics World Summer Games in Athens, Greece!
As a student at Oxford Learning, Sara was always enthusiastic, positive, and motivated, qualities that carried over into her training for the long jump, 4 x100 relay, and the 200 m dash. Her dedication paid off: Sara brought home a gold medal in the long jump, and a bronze medal in the 200 m dash!
15-year-old Sara is the youngest athlete chosen for team Canada, and everyone at Oxford Learning would like to congratulate her on her hard work, dedication, and success.
Helping students reach their goals—academic and otherwise—is the foundation of Oxford Learning. Congratulations once again Sara on reaching your goals, and best wishes as you strive to meet your goals in the future. Everyone at Oxford Learning is cheering for you!
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When you think of your child being in class and learning, do you picture a teacher at the front of the room, lecturing to the class, or do you picture students at computer stations doing exercises and working through coursework on their own?
More and more, classrooms are beginning to look like a combination of the two.
Technology has become ubiquitous to learning, but does having more technology in the classroom mean better learning? As teaching tools, computers are being used to help struggling school boards deal with budget constraints and staff limitations. But, it’s not just computers that are changing how class time is organized; iPads, smartphones, cellphones, and tablets—as well as social media such as Facebook and Twitter—are all being used to change how students are learning in the classroom.
Supporters of technology in the classroom say that students have never been more engaged; that technology helps shy students participate, and students who don’t know each other collaborate; that social media is increasing motivation and grades.
However, other studies show that the more traditional, less technology-based lecture-style classroom, allows teachers to cover more of the curriculum, and actually helps children perform better academically.
Without a doubt, technology in the classroom breaks through some of the common downsides of the lecture model of instruction:
- Not all students learn at the same pace
- Attention can wander during long lectures
- Sitting and is passive
- Relies on listening skills, which not all students are adept at
The blended learning model is becoming more and more popular as it bridges the gap between the traditional and the virtual classroom. It allows students to move at their own pace and gives them a sense of ownership in their education. Some schools are offering full high school courses online to help with scheduling conflicts and lack of teacher resources.
How much technology do your kids use in the classroom? We’d love to hear from you!
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