HW 21 Community Releases National Standards for Handwriting and Keyboarding Instruction

Feedback encouraged from parents and educators

COLUMBUS, Ohio (May 1, 2012) – Today, the HW 21 Community announced that their newly developed Written Language Production Standards (for Grades K–8) are now available for public review. These national standards are the only existing set of developmentally appropriate, research-based guidelines that integrate both handwriting and keyboarding instruction.

The standards were created by the HW 21 Community—an alliance of educators, researchers, and handwriting advocates—in response to a pressing need for explicit handwriting and keyboarding guidelines that was expressed during January’s “Handwriting in the 21st Century? An Educational Summit” (HW 21 Summit).

The HW 21 Summit gathered researchers and educators from across the country to determine whether—and how—handwriting and keyboarding should be taught in today's classroom. The general sentiment among attendees—as indicated through panel discussions and a Summit survey—was that both handwriting and keyboarding (critical skills that prepare students for college and career success) are integral to a comprehensive education. But a set of standards that integrate these two skills had yet to be created—and such explicit, evidence-based guidelines are absent from the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) by which most states abide.

The Written Language Production Standards were formed based on:

  • basic letter formation and keyboarding indicators included in the Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts.
  • national and local technology standards and policies.
  • state handwriting and keyboarding standards.
  • studies in motor skills development from occupational therapists.
  • research on language (written and oral) and brain activation.

Meant to be a living work, the standards will continue to evolve as feedback and forthcoming research are incorporated. The HW 21 Community welcomes input about how these standards can be improved (comments can be e-mailed to standards@hw21summit.com), so that teachers can most effectively provide the handwriting and keyboarding instruction that will prepare our students for 21st century success.

Visit www.hw21summit.com for additional information about the Summit, including a white paper summary, media coverage, and research details. Join the discussion about handwriting and keyboarding in the 21st century classroom through Facebook and Twitter.

Celina Fabrizio, Paul Werth Associates,
cfabrizio@paulwerth.com, 614-224-8114

Celina Fabrizio

Paul Werth Associates