Handwriting vs typing: is the pen still mightier than the keyboard?

Some neuroscientists think that giving up handwriting will impact on how future generations learn to read. 

In the past few days you may well have scribbled out a shopping list on the back of an envelope or stuck a Post-it on your desk. Perhaps you added a comment to your child’s report book or made a few quick notes during a meeting. But when did you last draft a long text by hand? How long ago did you write your last “proper” letter, using a pen and a sheet of writing paper? Are you among the increasing number of people, at work, who are switching completely from writing to typing?

No one can say precisely how much handwriting has declined, but in June a British survey of 2,000 people gave some idea of the extent of the damage. According to the study, commissioned by Docmail, a printing and mailing company, one in three respondents had not written anything by hand in the previous six months. On average they had not put pen to paper in the previous 41 days. People undoubtedly write more than they suppose, but one thing is certain: with information technology we can write so fast that handwritten copy is fast disappearing in the workplace.

In the United States they have already made allowance for this state of affairs. Given that email and texting have replaced snail mail, and that students take notes on their laptops, “cursive” writing – in which the pen is not raised between each character – has been dropped from the Common Core Curriculum Standards, shared by all states. Since 2013 American children have been required to learn how to use a keyboard and write in print. But they will no longer need to worry about the up and down strokes involved in “joined-up” writing, less still the ornamental loops on capitals.

This reform prompted lively controversy. In an editorial published in the Los Angeles Times hailed a step forward. “States and schools shouldn’t cling to cursive based on the romantic idea that it’s a tradition, an art form or a basic skill whose disappearance would be a cultural tragedy. Of course, everyone needs to be able to write without computers, but longhand printing generally works fine […] Print is clearer and easier to read than script. For many, it’s easier to write and just about as fast.”

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1:13 pm \ studying for my History of England exam in January. i know i have time, but i also have many exams in January so i started studying earlier.

another important thing: i’m finished with all my 2k14 exams! my marks so far: 5 5 5 5 5 5 4 3. i MUST keep this motivation & willingness to get some money next semester (and also have to correct that fucking 3…) 


A Simple Proof Of Conservation Of Energy

Want to get your physics and algebra on? MinutePhysics provides a nifty little proof.

If you want to change you must shake your foundations. Demolish the concrete that has cemented your beliefs that you’re not enough. You cannot live in a house built on ground determined to erode away its very existence.

anonymous asked:

Any unique tips you can give for memorizing stuff the day before a final?

If it is the day before the final you have one huge advantage: sleep.


Going over stuff right before you go to sleep, boosts your memorization powers like whoa. I’m a very last-minute kind of person, so here is my personal recipe for last-minute cramming:

1) Get the big picture
I know the devil’s in the details, but you should have a vague idea of what’s actually going on. Skim over ALL the materials. Not only will it give you a sense of urgency, it will also give you the certainty that you have technically seen everything you need to see. Now you only need to understand it.

2) Zoom in on the black holes
Memorizing is nice, but it usually won’t work if you don’t understand what you’re trying to memorize. Now it’s time to go for the details. Fill the gaping holes in your structure of understanding. Why did the king decide to go war in that year? Why is the mass not involved in this formula? Why did the experiment go like that? Use all the resources you can find and don’t forget that the Internet is your friend. Google it, YouTube it, put your question on a forum, really illuminate those dark corners in your brain.

3) Treat yourself like an idiot
Once you have a rudimentary understanding of where this fact stands in the big picture, what it is composed of and why it came to be, you only need to engrave it in your mind. Take a blank piece of paper and start to formulate questions to which your facts are the answers. Then walk away for a few minutes, let your mind go black. Now go back. Start answering those questions in random order. Mix hard and easy questions. Go crazy. Talk out loud while you write down the right answers with proper explanations. Lead yourself through the process. Do everything you can to make this particular fact stand out against the others: doodle your explanation, use a jingle, make it rhyhme, give real-word examples of theories, make up stories and structures, anything that is so you that you will remember it no matter what. The important thing is that you assign every little fact its rightful place in your mind. It has to make sense to you.

Example: I watched loads of anime, so when I had to remember that in some languages (e.g. Japanese) a syllable always has to end in a vowel sound, I only remembered one word:



(If it’s vocabulary, use the words in model sentences and then write a text using the words in a different context. Again: talk to yourself (or someone else). This is the most effective way to retain information.)

You don’t know what you think you know
If you still have enough time, explain the parts of the material that you know to yourself and you will most likely find new (albeit smaller) gaps for which you can repeat 3).

5) Boil it down
Now comes the important part: you’ve gone from big picture to small details to questioning on a base level. Now you need to strip it down to the nitty-gritty. Get one seperate piece of paper and write down the most important key words or steps of a formula in a format you feel comfortable with: this can be a
2.1. structure, a mind map, words splatterd randomly on the paper, whatever works for you.

6) Go to bed
Get yourself ready to go to sleep. Clear your mind, do not think of the material for 15 minutes or so. Now slip under your blanket and go over your memory sheet from 5). Let the connections flow freely at this point, remember how you derived this theory or how that structure came to be, recall your doodles and stories and jingles, enjoy how things make so much more sense than before. Now go over your Q&A-Sheets again to solidify your thoughts from before. Take approx 10 minutes for this, so that it can really  sink in. Look up, close your eyes, take one last look at your memory sheet, turn off the light and let sleep and your brain do the rest.


For me, it also helps to scan everything again the next morning, just to be on the safe side.
Good luck with your finals and sleep well!