Handwriting Beats Typing And Watching Videos For Learning To Read

Writing things out by hand is becoming less common as computers take over, but a new study finds handwriting serves an important purpose.

Johns Hopkins University researchers found that people who practiced writing out letters by hand learned them much faster than those who simply saw the characters on a video screen, or those who typed the characters. They also found that writing things out by hand was associated with the ability to write the new letters, use them to spell new words, and use them to read unfamiliar words.

Researchers say this is because handwriting marries together the perceptual-motor experience with what is being learned about the letters (their shapes, sounds, and motor plans), which in turn creates richer knowledge and fuller, true learning.