my antique expertise: cursive writing

Picked up my cup of coffee in the bookstore this morning and after swiping my college card, I signed my name in the electronic card reader. My writing looks so bad anymore, since I rarely write, I often wonder why these signatures are even accepted as valid. I asked the clerk what she was going to do when people stopped learning how to write cursive, which has already begun. She recently ran into the issue at another workplace that has volunteer workers as young as 10 (I wasn’t paying attention to what kind of place that would be), and she told of showing a handwritten document to the student who said he didn’t know what that was and could not read it. Uh-oh. It’s here, already.

I have a lot of concerns about not learning cursive, but I think they are mostly attachments to the past, and I want to not be concerned that students will focus on printing and keyboarding. Perhaps because I had nice handwriting, having been praised by Miss Forsythe in the fourth grade as writing as nicely as she did, I think people might miss the artistic element in cursive writing, but I’ve seen enough dreadful handwriting to know that is not universally shared.

So, how will we identify people in the future when registration or payments are involved–and here I couldn’t resist an image from one of my favorite films, Blade Runner. Will we all be comfortable with eye or fingerprint scans? How will the identity thieves work around that [insert your favorite horrific solution]? In what ways will it filter into education? Obviously, we can keyboard our online passwords, but maybe scanning devices will move into online spaces to make sure it really is your student taking that online exam. I currently have an app on my iPad that scans documents to PDFs, CamScanner, so those mobile camera eyes which currently read QR codes, might be called upon to read the window to your soul as well.

I’m thinking I can add reading cursive to my list of skills, and plan to move into my retirement years as a translator of those old documents from the 20th century that are so cryptic–even if they turn out to just be shopping lists.

Categories: communication, digital literacy, learning, technology

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