Before I write anything further, let me say that I obviously use both: the pen and the keyboard. Moreover, I firmly believe there is room for both, and benefits to derive from both methods of communication.
Now that I’ve made that point, let me share with you an interesting article from the British newspaper, The Guardian — Handwriting vs typing: is the pen still mightier than the keyboard? (PDF)
Some neuroscientists argue that the ability to write one’s letters by hand helps children learn how to write better than if one only types on a keyboard. Moreover, mastering the additional art of cursive writing also aids in cognitive development. At a time when many schools in the United States are dropping the requirement for cursive, other countries, such as France, are emphasizing its benefits more in their school curriculum.
Our reliance on — and near-constant connectivity to — devices such as smart phones, laptops, notebooks, etc. is definitely rewiring our brains, especially those of younger generations being raised in a computer environment from day one.
So the question may not be whether people will want to write handwritten letters in the future but rather will they know how to?
To encourage a child in your life to write letters, take a look at these suggestions on the Reading Rainbow blog.