4 Matching Annotations
  1. Jul 2021
    1. "The earlier systems of writing were extremely difficult to learn," says Schwartz, the Whiting Professor of Archaeology in the Department of Near Eastern Studies. "There were thousands of symbols used in very complicated ways, which meant that only a very small group of people could ever learn how to write or read. With the invention of the alphabet, it meant that a much larger number of people could, in theory, learn how to read and write. And so it ultimately led to the democratization of writing. And of course it is the system that all Western European writing systems used because Greeks, who borrowed the Semitic alphabetic system, then used it to write their own language."

      Early writing systems used thousands of symbols and were thus incredibly complex and required heavy memorization. This may have been easier with earlier mnemonic systems in oral (pre-literate societies), but would have still required work.

      The innovation of a smaller alphabetic set would have dramatically decreased the cognitive load of massive memorization and made it easier for people to become literate at scale.

    1. "The main lesson is that even though they were all good at recognizing letters, the writing training was the best at every other measure. And they required less time to get there," lead author Professor Robert Wiley, from the University of North Carolina, Greensboro, said in a statement. "With writing, you're getting a stronger representation in your mind that lets you scaffold toward these other types of tasks that don't in any way involve handwriting." Every participant in the study was an adult but the scientists are confident that the same for children. The key, they argue, is that handwriting reinforces what is being learned about the letter, such as the sound, beyond their shape. "The question out there for parents and educators is why should our kids spend any time doing handwriting," explained senior author professor Brenda Rapp, from Johns Hopkins University. "Obviously, you're going to be a better hand-writer if you practice it. But since people are handwriting less then maybe who cares? The real question is: Are there other benefits to handwriting that have to do with reading and spelling and understanding? We find there most definitely are."

      Handwriting (as opposed to typing) has been shown to improve the speed at which one learns alphabets.

      https://www.iflscience.com/brain/writing-by-hand-most-effectively-increases-reading-skills/

      Is the effect also seen in other types of learning? What about reading and taking notes by hand versus typing them out?

  2. Mar 2021
    1. The first important modification of the method of the Romans was that invented by the German poet Konrad Celtes, who, in his Epitoma in utramque Ciceronis rhetoricam cum arte memorativa nova (1492), instead of places made use of the letters of the alphabet.