Writing is on the wall for handwriting as schools trial digital exams

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He also claimed that online exams would be much greener than shipping millions of exam papers around the country before collecting them all again in Milton Keynes to digitise them.

Speaking to BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, Tobin suggested that opting for convenience could kill off handwriting and its esoteric charms.

“If you began to say everything would be much more efficient on a laptop, [handwriting] would go eventually, it would within a generation, almost disappear,” he said, adding: “It goes the way of Latin and Greek.”

He also lamented the loss of handwriting as a marker of identity, adding: “You would know when a letter came from someone, oh that’s from Auntie so-and-so, that’s her handwriting.”

Asked about his own writing habits, Tobin said he wrote all his own novels in longhand form.

“It sort of matters to me that I’m actually making the letters, that I can touch the paper, that I’m somehow more deeply involved,” he said.

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