Twenty-three second-graders file into Virginia Edwards’ technology classroom at Grant Ranch School, take a seat at their iMacs, pull on headphones and launch a program whose graphics and audio prompts teach them crucial keyboarding skills.
Gradually, the staccato tapping of their fingers will supplant the graceful curves of what once stood as an academic rite of passage: cursive handwriting.
In an increasingly paperless world, and with ever-greater student-performance demands in core subjects, state standards have gone silent on cursive.
In Colorado schools where it is still taught, the time devoted to its practice generally has diminished, although pockets of avid supporters still enthusiastically defend its rightful place in the elementary curriculum. [continued…]