6 Impacts of Technology on Student Writing
Technology has definitely transformed what it means to be literate in the 21st century - modern software does almost for its users for a minute. The internet and social media have certainly affected how we read, write, and speak. Educators are seeing the great impacts of technology on student writing firsthand, in the classroom. This is the goal of this article - to investigate some changes noticed in students' writing because of technology's increasing pressure in their lives today.
Pew Research Center surveyed 2462 Advanced Placement and National Writing Project teachers from around the USA and their goal was to gain perspective on how digital technologies are helping to shape student's writing. What they found was that 96% agreed the digital technologies allowed students to share their work with a wider and more varied audience, 79% agreed that these tools encouraged greater collaboration among students, 78% agreed the digital technologies encouraged student creativity and personal expression. This is quantitative proof that educators agree there are some really great things that have come about student writing because of technology in the classroom.
One of the main benefits we are seeing amongst students when it comes to writing and technology is collaboration. There are applications like Google Drive in which students can actually create a document and when they use the share option they can immediately work on and type in a document at the same time. Teachers can actually also comment in the document in real time as well if it's shared with them.
Creating a blog is an avenue for students to express themselves. Students can use this like an online journal or an online diary and it's just another quick way for them to get their thoughts off their chests. Students can have up to 2 or 3 blogs on different topics where they share their ideas and opinions. In relation to a blog, students can easily comment on another student's work. Maybe, somebody from across the country can comment on that students work if it's posted publicly.
The last benefit is that there is the increasing ownership among students when it comes to their online writing in particular. Students are creating their own things from scratch online; they know these things can be seen in the public. Because of this, some teachers are finding students putting more efforts into their work and they have more pride in their work, knowing there can be a lot of eyes looking at what they have created.
Some of the things that educators are seeing is increasing sloppiness when it comes to student writing. It means they are seeing more and more issues with spelling, grammar and a lack of editing. So although we have spelling and grammar checkers, students are not always utilizing them and we see that there is not as much editing going on. According to a survey, 40% of teachers percent found that today's digital technologies make students more likely to use poor spelling and grammar.
With the speed of technology nowadays students don't want to sit and write for hours and they don't want to edit for long periods of time either. Composing longer essays is more of a challenge to students more than ever before just because they are so used to having things coming quickly. In a survey, 46% of teachers mentioned that these tools make students more likely to write too fast - for less an hour. As a result, they all are careless in writing their papers. This survey found that digital tools make students more likely to take shortcuts and not put effort into their writing.
Now, there's just so much information floating around on the internet that students can get their hands on very easily. Teachers can encourage at least some of the student's assignments to be handwritten. 94% of teachers surveyed by Pew Research Center said they feel students do more synthesizing, active thinking, and editing when they write by hand and it also discourages them from the temptation of copying other people's work. This goes to show that there are also some drawbacks and issues educators are having when it comes to using technology and student writing.
When employers are looking for candidates to hire, the most important skill they want an applicant to have is critical thinking and problem-solving but the second most important skill is information technology application followed by teamwork, collaboration, creativity, innovation, and diversity. This goes to show that knowing how to use technology is really important, so it is not something that can just be ignored it is something that needs to be taught and effectively integrated into the education system. Literacy is something that continues to change and evolve, there is value though in the more traditional forms of literacy but understanding and being able to apply new literacies into our lives are extremely important especially for students today.
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