Children are different than we were; the end of cursive writing
From Gifts and Dec
Sometimes when I watch a young child effortlessly work a computer I get this sudden flutter in my stomach and think to myself: "I am actually seeing an evolutionary shift going on right before my eyes." It's a little scary and a little sad. I feel like I am on the wrong side of an evolutionary divide and that these children are and will have brains that work differently than mine.
I had that feeling again the other day when I read a New York Times article entitled "The Case for Cursive." It seems that schools are sharply curtailing the teaching of cursive writing (some have even stopped teaching it). The keyboard has, as you would imagine, replaced the pen and pencil so the need to write quickly has dissipated.
Here is what is scary: Young people are not just unable to write in cursive; they are unable to read it. Some worry that no longer teaching cursive will damage fine motor coordination (kind of a stretch it seems to me) and others that forgery will be more rampant as ill formed signatures will be easier to copy. Others are concerned that in a few decades there will be few people able to read historic texts written in cursive.
For me, it is just another reminder (but a big one) that children and the adults they will become are increasingly wired differently than any generation that has come before. Some will grow up to be stewards of the toy industry and intuitively take it where it needs to go. In the mean time we in the industry will have to look across the divide and like anthropologists try to figure out the indistinct codes of a new type of human.