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The emergence of new digital devices as laptops, mobile phones and e-notebooks led us to raise the question about the need of handwriting in different people’s domains. Whether students should keep up learning hand writing at school or not? Do they need to pay so much attention on penmanship during the studying? Whether people’s writing communication should be transferred from handwriting to keyboarding? These are all vital questions are raised in the The Freakonomics Radio podcast “Who needs handwriting?”.
First of all, I would like to thank my colleagues, @ariyavvv and @lenerakezlevli, who devoted their posts dwelling on the reflective summary, critical review and analysis of this podcast’s content. Please, visit their page and read their blogs to get more insight about this podcast. However, in this post I would share my views not about the content of the podcast itself, but mostly on the format of it.
The radio host Dubner organized very interesting talk show with different people who shared their studies and views about todays’ role of handwriting in society. Dubner managed to host the radio program in the most informal but at the same time very informative manner. This podcast is not a typical question-answer conversation between radio host and guest, but it went along with analyses and guiding questions of Dubner after each interesting points said by the speakers.
Take as an example the case, when Anne Trubek, the author of the book “The history and uncertain future of handwriting”, talked about the study that showed the positive influence of legible handwriting on students’ achievement at school. After very detailed sharing about this study, everyone would like to believe that Trubek supports handwriting at school. The radio host notices that her conversation led the listeners to believe in that. Therefore, he pauses the interview, asks listeners “Now you think she supports handwriting” and then makes intriguing argument “But you would be wrong”. It is pretty smart and tricky way of leading the radio show. After this unthinkable argument, you would have a lot of question as “Why so?” that will raise your interest to continue to listen to this podcast.
The same tactic or strategy, whatever you call, Dubner uses while talking with PhD in social psychology in Princeton Pam Mueller. She conducted the research with her colleague whether it is beneficial for students to make handwriting notes or it is better to type the notes on the laptop apps. As a result, handwriting notes were understandable and contained useful information than notes in the laptop. Since this result, you would also tend to think that these researchers would support handwriting. But again the answer is “No”. They are opponents of the new era who support technology and suggest students to organize the trainings for students that teach to type accurate information in a short time.
What kind of strategies did radio host of the podcast that you listened to use during the program? Do you like it? Or will you give some suggestion to make the format of the program better?