The campaign was in the main focus on Thursday, 19 May 2016. The aim of the campaign was to raise awareness of handwriting, to establish a positive attitude towards handwriting, to emphasise the significance of development of individuality, and to promote respect and affection for this skill.
We designed a special bookmark
for the Handwriting is Cool campaign.
''Handwriting is cool' in Georgian.
Why use handwriting, when we can use a computer?
Handwriting is a fine motoric skill linked to our nervous and muscular systems. We develop the skill through practice. This applies to both the young and the adult. Therefore handwriting is an essential part of lifelong learning. The experts have found that our brain is more active during handwriting than during typing on a computer. The information written by hand is stored in the memory longer. When writing by hand we generate more ideas and have a longer focus. Typing on a computer promotes efficiency, while handwriting promotes originality. However, a healthy personal development requires both.
Changes in the IT field and dominant use of computers in written communications led to reduced motoric skills which are developed through handwriting. To write a page of text by hand has thus become a significant physical effort. Teachers have observed while young people stress that they hardly know how to write, while their movements are rigid and clumsy.
I personally believe that we must safeguard the choice, i.e. when to write something by hand and when to write something on a computer. When personal messages, such as thank you notes, praises, condolences and congratulations, are written by hand they express a higher level of respect than the same messages written on a computer.
Handwriting is cool!
How was the campaign implemented?
Several primary and secondary schools, community colleges, libraries, associations, third age universities, bookshops and other companies implemented various activities to support the Handwriting is Cool! Campaign. At some primary schools the teachers linked parents and the broader local community with the campaign. Community colleges organised graphology and calligraphy lectures. Third age universities collected and analysed old postcards and letters. Prominent public figures wrote down a few thought, why handwriting should be preserved. E.g. the writer and recipient of the Prešeren award for lifetime work, Mr Tone Partljič wrote: “When there is no electricity and when the machine gets sick with a virus, I cannot write. I then write the following handwritten message to my wife: “I went to the computer repair shop”. The actor, Mr Marko Mandič wrote: “The movement of the hand, the patterns made by fingers, all that is produced on the paper is unforeseeable, full of errors. And errors count. Errors help us step out of the box.” The campaign was also supported by the Minister of education, science and sport, Ms Maja Makovec Brenčič who attended the event and also wrote down a few thoughts by hand, concluding with “Thank you all for this stimulative and communicative campaign. It was a pleasure to participate.”
From left to right: Ms Marijana Jazbec (initiator of the Handwriting is Cool! Campaign), Ms Maja Makovec Brenčič (Minister of Education, Science and Sport), Petra Melanšek (Director of the Vivapen company), Zvonka Pangerc Pahernik (head of the Lifelong Learning Week project)
Opportunities for further development of the Handwriting is Cool initiative
We believe that conscious efforts are required to preserve the legible handwriting with block letters and cursive. Experts believe that the schools and parents should play an important part in the process. On the basis of this years’ experience we see the following opportunities:
a. Expansion of the initiative from educational and cultural institutions to the broader local community; i.e. to the municipality and other organisations in a specific local environment.
b. Expansion of the initiative to other countries, first in the SEE region, in the area of the former Yugoslavia.
c. Transfer of the initiative from educational and cultural institutions to the companies and their managers. The typical messages are a thank you note and a praise for co-workers. A silent praise does not tell anything. We must express it. It is best to write it by hand. Today, handwriting is a rare commodity and it is known that rare commodities achieve a high price!
d. Design of an initiative that the primary schools start to re-assess the form, and not content only. We can submit the initiative to the Ministry of education, science and sport.
e. Informing of adults about the role of handwriting analysis as a tool for the exploration of human personality.
Will YOU join the campaign in 2017?
Marijana Jazbec holds a master’s degree in communication science and is a professional graphologist, handwriting and document examiner and author of the Handwriting is Cool! Initiative. She is the director of the company Grafologika (www.grafologika.si), where she works in the field of written communication culture in its broadest sense.