Handwriting Boosts the Brain — WSJ

Each year, when I teach New Venture Creation, I allow students to bring 1, hand written page of notes (back and front) to the mid-term exam. I use this ‘crib sheet’ as a teaching method, hoping that as students transfer ideas from the text book, their notes, and class lecture slides, to the ‘crib sheet’  some of the ideas/concepts/lessons will sink in.

I was allowed to learning aid during a few courses at the University of Michigan and always believed it helped me learn course material. Typically, I would work so hard on the ‘crib sheet’ that when I got to the test, I did not need it.

It appears there is mounting evidence that ‘physical writing’ (as opposed to typing) aids in learning in many ways. From Gwendolyn Barnes of the Wall Street Journal:

Using advanced tools such as magnetic resonance imaging, researchers are finding that writing by hand is more than just a way to communicate. The practice helps with learning letters and shapes, can improve idea composition and expression, and may aid fine motor-skill development.

It’s not just children who benefit. Adults studying new symbols, such as Chinese characters, might enhance recognition by writing the characters by hand, researchers say. Some physicians say handwriting could be a good cognitive exercise for baby boomers working to keep their minds sharp as they age.Studies suggest there’s real value in learning and maintaining this ancient skill, even as we increasingly communicate electronically via keyboards big and small.

So get out there are write — jot ideas for your new venture down, write a mission statement on paper before heading to the keyboard. Take notes in the margin of newspapers and magazine to keep your creativity and intelligence flowing. Just Write!

via How Handwriting Boosts the Brain – WSJ.com.


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