Does handwriting on a tablet screen impact students’ graphomotor execution? A comparison between grades 2 and 9
Alamargot D, Morin MF. (2015). Does handwriting on a tablet screen impact students’ graphomotor execution? A comparison between grades 2 and 9. Human Movement Science. 44: 32-41.
We sought to ascertain how handwriting with a plastic-tipped pen on the screen of a digital tablet affects graphomotor execution in students, compared with handwriting on paper with a ballpoint pen. We predicted that the modification to propriokinesthetic feedback induced by the screen/plastic tip combination would differently disturb younger and older students, who rely on perceptual feedback either to form letters (former) or to adjust movement execution (latter). Twenty-eight students from Grades Two and Nine were asked to handwrite the alphabet and their names and surnames under the two conditions. Kinematics were recorded using the tablet, controlled by Eye and Pen software. Results showed that handwriting on the tablet surface with a plastic-tipped pen primarily affected pen pauses in the second graders and pen movements in the ninth graders, suggesting a disturbance in segment trajectory calculation in the younger participants and reduced control of muscular adjustment in the older children.