Is the Pen Mightier than the iPad?

Is the Pen Mightier than the iPad?

Is the Pen Mightier than the iPad?There is no denying that times are changing as we move through the Technology age.  More and more is technology based these days, gone are the days of record players, cassette tapes, video recorders (being replaced with downloadable content), and even cheque books are being phased out (not really needed as much with online banking and ParentPay). I am sure you can think of lots more examples too. But how about the Pen? Can you see it being replaced? Will in the future we only make marks on computers, iPads, and smart phones? Will the pen go into extinction?

The reason I am considering whether the pen is mightier than the iPad is because one of the reasons that it was picked up that our son has Sensory Processing Disorder was the fact that he was falling further and further behind his peers. Last year it was even discussed whether to hold him back a year at school. So far this term he has been doing really well, and even holding his own in some of the groups that he is in with his peers. But now the question falls as to whether his inability to hold a pencil and write properly is further hindering his development – and if, indeed, using an iPad would help him to progress more.

The Pros

For our Sensory Seeker the obvious answer would be yes to him using iPads if writing is going to become a skill of the past. If the need to write things down by anyone wouldn’t matter. Other ways of developing fine motor skills needed for other things could be developed. Obviously it would give him more of a chance to work through his learning without the added pressure of being able to write. If pens were to become obsolete that would save a lot of trees and a lot less landfill waste from pens that have run out.  Our 11 year old already has a laptop for school and most of the work is done on that, as opposed to pen and paper. It means that he is always ready and never runs out of paper or ink. It also allows teachers to send information and interact with the children easier.

The Cons

I do not know, I like writing. The actual act. Surely there is more to making marks on the page than the end result. I would love to hear what the many stationery lovers out there have to say on the matter. Do we think it could ever become a possibility? As writing is not about to become defunct any time it still leaves the question as to whether our Sensory Seeker should be using the pen or the iPad. If he is not practising his fine motor skills will this not make them weaker? Making it less likely that he will be able to write in the future? Will this make him lazy? Different? And more addicted to technology? The idea is that they will try this out in groups (at least at first) so he would not be on his own. But then the school are wondering whether he should then utilise it at other times too. I guess it is a tricky one, like all things that need to be considered.

What do you think, are we likely to get rid of pens/pencils any time soon?

And I would love to hear from anybody that has any experience with Special needs children and using iPads at school – has it helped them?  Or even anyone’s thoughts on the matter. Our Sensory Seeker  is equally behind in all areas (apart from technology) so it is not to say that he will not progress with his writing at the same rate, and just be behind his peers.

21 thoughts on “Is the Pen Mightier than the iPad?

  1. My son has Autism, Dyspraxia and sensory processing difficulties… school have told me to basically forget his handwriting as he has such a high level of computer skills! I don’t like that and want him to have his handwriting (which at the moment is pretty unreadable!) I don’t think kids should rely on technology.

  2. I can’t help you from an educational point of view but, like you, I can’t see a future where pens are completely obsolete. I am always scribbling things down, making lists etc but, then again, if it really is a problem for your son, maybe it is worth reducing the pressure on him.

  3. I have to say that I’m so used to ‘writing’ via a keyboard, that I now find it difficult to handwrite anything. I’m so slow, and couldn’t imagine writing out a whole essay, like I did in my Uni days! I don’t know what advice to give for your son, but it’s good that there’s another option open to him if he finds writing a difficult medium of communication.

  4. I really hope that pens don’t get phased out, I know that we do a lot of things on computer now, but there’s still something nice about getting a handwritten letter. I can understand why an iPad might be better for your son. Hopefully there is a balance to be had somewhere.

  5. I hope they don’t get rid of writing, it is a necessary skill to have and despite have computers everywhere my teen has to physically write essays etc

  6. I can’t ever see the pen being phased out fortunately… I do miss writing pen to paper, used to write lots but I get ‘writing ache’ these days… not looking forward to writing Christmas cards!!x

  7. I hope the pen is not phased out, it is so much easier to jot down lists etc with a pen. My son always struggled with handwriting but we persevered and so glad we did rather than just going for technology

  8. I don’t think we will ever stop using a pen and paper as a majority but for a few people it may actually be the better option . My eldest has always had trouble holding a pen. He finds it painful and he was supposed to be given an alphasmart to help with his learning. He never received it and I believe his exam results suffered because he was not able to get his thoughts down as easily on paper as he could using a touchpad.

  9. I do hope not – as much as I type every day, I still make notes with a pen and paper. I just can’t do it any other way! Maybe waaaaaaaay into the future, but not in the immediate.

  10. I used to believe that I wrote better, more creatively with a pen, but I think that’s not so true now I am more used to writing online. I use a pen for my diary as I like the satisfaction of crossing things out, but not much else.

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