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Study: Pen mightier than keyboard

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SEATTLE, Sept. 17 (UPI) -- U.S. researchers say using a pen may be faster than using a computer keyboard for children.

The study, published in Learning Disability Quarterly, found second-, fourth- and sixth-grade children with and without handwriting disabilities wrote more and faster when using a pen -- rather than a keyboard -- to compose essays.

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The research also showed many children don't have a reliable idea of what a sentence is until the third or fourth grade. However, fourth- and sixth-graders wrote more complete sentences when they used a pen. The ability to write complete sentences was not affected by the child's spelling skills.

"Children consistently did better writing with a pen when they wrote essays. They wrote more and they wrote faster," study leader Virginia Berninger, a University of Washington professor of educational psychology, said in a statement.

"We need to help children become bilingual writers so they can write by both the pen and the computer. So don't throw away your pen or your keyboard. We need them both."

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