Take a look at the world around you today and compare it to twenty years ago. What do you notice? I notice how technology has changed so many aspects of our lives. Now, compare when you were first learning to write to present day students learning to write. How has technology affected student writing? Below I’ve outlined the pros and cons related to technology and the effect it has on student writing.
- Tools such as the Internet, social media, and cell phones encourage personal expression and creativity. Writing has never been more prominent or significant.
- Technologies are available that support writing development. These include:
o Word processing and presentation programs, such as Microsoft Word, Microsoft PowerPoint, and Prezi.
o Online publishing programs for student work, such as Storybird and Wordfaire.
o Speech-to-text and text-to-speech software. Check out our infographic, “From Symbols to Siri: Where is Writing Headed?”
o Interactive whiteboard writing and grammar lessons, like our Engagers.
- Technology gives students the opportunity to share their writing with a large and more diverse audience. This encourages greater student investment in their work. Learn more from our post, K-5 Blogging to Publish Student Writing.
- Technology allows students to incorporate visuals and multimedia into their writing, instead of allowing for just text-based writing.
· When used the right way, technology can promote better collaboration among students and improve engagement.
- Digital tools can blur the line between formal and informal writing. There is an influx of text-speak. Read more about this in the post, “Text Messaging May Harm Grammar Skills.”
- Students can spend too much time focused on choosing fonts and graphics with word processing programs that they can forget what their real purpose is- to WRITE.
- According to a Pew Report surveying teachers on The Impact of Digital Tools on Student Writing and How Writing is Taught in Schools:
o 68% of the teachers surveyed said digital tools make students more likely to take shortcuts and not put effort into their writing.
o 46% said digital tools make students more likely to “write too fast and be careless.”
What are your thoughts on technology and its impact on student writing? Can you add anything to the list? Please share in the comments below!