Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Keyboard kids losing art of handwriting
By Gerard Noonan - Sydney Morning Herald
Tuesday, 29 July 2008

Pic Left - E-STUDENTS: Australian high schoolers are skilled on keyboards, but long periods of neat handwriting needed for exams are a hard ask.

More than 150,000 students in years 11 and 12 at schools across the Australian state of New South Wales have a problem.
Almost all are skilled users of computer keyboards. Most can easily outperform their elders when it comes to text messaging on their mobile phones.
But within the next year or so all of them will have to sit 15 to 20 hours of examinations for Australia's Higher School Certificate, and the exams will be almost entirely handwritten. Unless they have a proven disability and cannot write on the day of the exam, the only acceptable exam paper is one handed up in an individual's handwriting.

The disjunction between the acquired skill of keyboarding and the need to handwrite exams has led some schools to incorporate handwriting lessons in years 11 and 12 as students find they have to relearn the art of using a pen and paper quickly - lost after years of using computers, laptops and mobiles.
The senior English teacher at Barker College, on Sydney's North Shore, Sue Marks, says she has had top students forced to do remedial courses to get their handwriting legible enough for HSC examiners to read.
For the full story link here.

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