Using a handwriting app leads to improvement in manual dexterity in kindergarten children

  • Christi Butler Department of Curriculum & Instruction, University of Texas at Arlington
  • Ricardo Pimenta Department of Health and Sport Science, Santa Catarina State University
  • Jodi Tommerdahl Department of Curriculum and Instruction, University of Texas at Arlington
  • Chadwick T. Fuchs Department of Kinesiology, University of Texas at Arlington
  • Priscila Caçola Department of Kinesiology, University of Texas at Arlington
Keywords: Manual Dexterity, Handwriting, iPad, App, Kindergarten, school-age 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.


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How to Cite
ButlerC., PimentaR., TommerdahlJ., FuchsC. T., & CaçolaP. (2019). Using a handwriting app leads to improvement in manual dexterity in kindergarten children. Research in Learning Technology, 27.
Original Research Articles