Tuesday, 14 October 2014


Back in my day the only thing children could swipe was the half penny sweets from under the nose of the dirty-fingered newsagent. Today, however, children have become masters of swiping as they assume every brightly lit screen they come in to contact with is a touchscreen. 

 Take our house as an example, not too long ago my three-year-old managed to wipe my work ipad, restoring it to its default factory-fit settings and erasing all email, contacts and everything else I call upon daily. Our TV, meanwhile, now displays a permanently blurry picture along its bottom half as grubby two-year-old fingers attempt to swipe the screen to control the actions of Mr Tumble or to end any attempt by the adults in the room to watch anything of interest to them. 

 Touchscreen technology and the ability to swipe photos, pinch and zoom images, pause, stop and play videos is a part of every day life and I guarantee that 99% of today's children become adept at using and controlling this technology much, much quicker than they do at using a pencil and writing their name. Is there anything wrong with this? No. It's natural evolution and as they'll grow up to live in a world where the pen and the pencil are increasingly redundant, our ipad-destroying infants will go on to become the Bill Gates' of tomorrow, albeit Bill Gates with terrible handwriting.

 Does this mean we ditch writing lessons altogether? Don't be daft. It just means that handwriting will become less important as our children grow up. In my case, possessing handwriting that my secondary school English teacher once described as the worst she had ever seen, probably means that my children will be genetically predisposed to write with similar cack-handiness (or at least there's a 50/50 chance, their mother's handwriting may just spare them). 

So, personally, I'd have no issues with my offspring preferring the keyboard to the pen, just as long as they don't add LOL to the end of any sentences!

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