Using a handwriting app leads to improvement in manual dexterity in kindergarten children
This study aimed to determine the effectiveness of using electronic handwriting applications (apps) in addition to a traditional method of teaching handwriting on kindergarten children’s manual dexterity (MD) and handwriting skills. Testing was done with 125 children in two groups: control (n = 67) and experimental (n = 58). Both groups used worksheets, but the experimental group also used an app with a stylus for their practice time. A 2 (group) × 2 (time) analysis indicated a significant interaction for MD (p < 0.03), with a significant improvement in the experimental group. Significant differences emerged for legibility, showing that both groups improved at handwriting over time. Study results demonstrated that using apps in the kindergarten classroom can enhance handwriting as well as a traditional handwriting teaching method. Apps also have the advantage of improving MD, which is a building block for several fine motor skills.
Amundson, S. J. (1995) Evaluation Tool of Children’s Handwriting: ETCH Examiner’s Manual, OT Kids, Homer, AK.
Arndt, P. A. (2016) ‘Computer usage for learning how to read and write in primary school’, Trends in Neuroscience and Education, vol. 5, no. 3, pp. 90–98. doi: 10.1016/J.TINE.2016.07.003.
Bryant, B. R., et al., (2015) ‘A comparison of the effects of reading interventions on engagement and performance for fourth-grade students with learning disabilities’, Behavior Modification, vol. 39, no. 1, pp. 167–190. doi: 10.1177/0145445514561316.
Coutinho, F., et al., (2017) ‘Facilitators and barriers to the use of iPads as a therapy tool: a Canadian survey of pediatric occupational therapists’, Journal of Occupational Therapy, Schools, & Early Intervention, vol. 10, no. 3, pp. 266–283. doi: 10.1080/19411243.2017.1325815.
Dinehart, L. H. (2015) ‘Handwriting in early childhood education: current research and future implications’, Journal of Early Childhood Literacy, vol. 15, no. 1, pp. 97–118. doi: 10.1177/1468798414522825.
Dinehart, L. & Manfra, L. (2013) ‘Associations between low-income children’s fine motor skills in preschool and academic performance in second grade’, Early Education & Development, vol. 24, no. 2, pp. 138–161. doi: 10.1080/10409289.2011.636729.
Feder, K. P. & Majnemer, A. (2007) ‘Handwriting development, competency, and intervention’, Developmental Medicine & Child Neurology, vol. 49, no. 4, pp. 312–317. doi: 10.1111/j.1469-8749.2007.00312.x.
Fuelscher, I., et al., (2018) ‘Differential activation of brain areas in children with developmental coordination disorder during tasks of manual dexterity: an ALE meta-analysis’, Neuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviews, vol. 86, pp. 77–84. doi: 10.1016/J.NEUBIOREV.2018.01.002.
Grissmer, D., et al., (2010) ‘Fine motor skills and early comprehension of the world: two new school readiness indicators’, Developmental Psychology, vol. 46, no. 5, pp. 1008–1017. doi: 10.1037/a0020104.
Hall, L. & Case-Smith, J. (2007) ‘The effect of sound-based intervention on children with sensory processing disorders and visual-motor delays’, American Journal of Occupational Therapy, vol. 61, pp. 209–215. doi:10.5014/ajot.61.2.209
Henderson, S. E., Sugden, D. A. & Barnett, A. L. (2007) Movement Assessment Battery For Children, Second Edition [Movement ABC-2], The Psychological Corporation, London, UK.
Marquardt, C., et al., (2016) ‘Learning handwriting at school – A teachers’ survey on actual problems and future options’, Trends in Neuroscience and Education, vol. 5, no. 3, pp. 82–89. doi: 10.1016/J.TINE.2016.07.001.
Marr, D., et al., (2003) ‘Fine motor activities in head start and kindergarten classrooms’, American Journal of Occupational Therapy, vol. 57, no. 5, pp. 550–557. doi: 10.5014/ajot.57.5.550.
McGlashan, H. L., et al., (2017) ‘Improvement in children’s fine motor skills following a computerized typing intervention’, Human Movement Science, vol. 56, pp. 29–36. doi: 10.1016/J.HUMOV.2017.10.013.
Overvelde, A. & Hulstijn, W. (2011) ‘Handwriting development in grade 2 and grade 3 primary school children with normal, at risk, or dysgraphic characteristics’, Research in Developmental Disabilities, vol. 32, no. 2, pp. 540–548. doi: 10.1016/j.ridd.2010.12.027.
Pegrum, M., Oakley, G. & Faulkner, R. (2013) ‘Schools going mobile: a study of the adoption of mobile handheld technologies in Western Australian independent schools’, Australian Journal of Educational Technology, vol. 29, pp. 66–81. doi: 10.14742/ajet.64.
Quesenberry, A. C., Mustian, A. L. & Clark-Bischke, C. (2016) ‘Preschool and kindergarten tuning in: strategies for incorporating technology into social skills instruction in preschool and kindergarten’, Young Children, vol. 71, no. 1, pp. 74–80.
Richards, J. (2009) ‘Language by hand: a synthesis of a decade of research on handwriting’, Handwriting Review, vol. 12, pp. 11–25.
Shaw, D. M. (2011) ‘The effect of two handwriting approaches, D’nealian and sunform, on kindergartners’ letter formations’, Early Childhood Education Journal, vol. 39, no. 2, pp. 125–132. doi: 10.1007/s10643-011-0444-2.
Vinter, A. & Chartrel, E. (2010) ‘Effects of different types of learning on handwriting movements in young children’, Learning and Instruction, vol. 20, no. 6, pp. 476–486. doi: 10.1016/J.LEARNINSTRUC.2009.07.001.
Volman, M. J. M., van Schendel, B. M. & Jongmans, M. J. (2006) ‘Handwriting difficulties in primary school children: a search for underlying mechanisms’, American Journal of Occupational Therapy, vol. 60, no. 4, pp. 451–460. doi: 10.5014/ajot.60.4.451.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
Authors contributing to Research in Learning Technology retain the copyright of their article and at the same time agree to publish their articles under the terms of the Creative Commons CC-BY 4.0 License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/) allowing third parties to copy and redistribute the material in any medium or format, and to remix, transform, and build upon the material, for any purpose, even commercially, under the condition that appropriate credit is given, that a link to the license is provided, and that you indicate if changes were made. You may do so in any reasonable manner, but not in any way that suggests the licensor endorses you or your use.