Electronic Signatures Pushing Handwriting to the Periphery

Mary Ellen Power, January 14, 2015

Electronic signature software and a move toward a digital world have come together to make handwriting a much less important part of society. This trend is impacting businesses in a variety of sectors to such a degree that schools are changing the way they educate students. The purpose of public education is to promote the skills necessary to prepare students for the future, and Arizona has officially taken teaching cursive handwriting out of the curriculum. A recent report from The Arizona Republic detailed how this transition away from cursive writing is taking place, and in doing so emphasizes that signing documents is no longer a concern when it comes to learning cursive.

Cursive writing disappearing
The news source explained that education leaders in Arizona favor moving toward teaching printing and keyboarding skills in favor of cursive writing because those forms of writing are more applicable to current needs. The ability to use e-signature solutions in place of cursive signatures is a key part of this situation. There is some debate still raging about whether this is the right decision, but the discussion in this report didn't focus on needing to be able to hand-write signatures. Instead, it pointed out cognitive differences in handwriting versus typing and advantages of cursive over printing. The issue of signatures has firmly been cemented as part of the digital world.

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There is still work to be done with some teachers trying to promote cursive writing and still a large group of educators promoting cursive as being better for note-taking and similar efforts. In light of these developments, there are even penmanship contests emerging to keep cursive alive, according to The Arizona Republic.

All of this comes together to form a situation in which the debate between cursive and print writing is not nearly dead. However, it is clear that the need for cursive to sign documents has disappeared, as that is rarely among the key points brought up by educators trying to ensure cursive writing stays in the curriculum.

A new way to think of signatures
Cursive writing has long been thought of as ideal for signing because it was easy and each signature featured unique characteristics that experts could use to verify a person's identity. E-signature capabilities have grown to such a degree that they are able to provide the user authentication and fraud prevention needed to eliminate the need for cursive. At the same time, solutions that bring e-signatures to mobile devices are making the signing method more convenient. 

E-signatures are transforming how people in business and society as a whole consider signing. Check out our FAQ page for the answers you need to use e-signatures effectively.