According to research, most teachers agree that technology has a major impact on students’ writing. Teachers note that technology influences writing in many ways. For instance, it helps many middle and high school students improve their skills. Although digital technologies can also have a negative influence on students’ attention to the details, social networks often serve as a great tool for personal expression, and they can help students develop their creative skills. Digital technologies can also help students find a larger audience for their creative expression. Besides, different types of social media platforms encourage students to experiment with different formats.
Nevertheless, there are also many negative aspects of the popularity of technology among teenagers. One of the most noticeable consequences is the wide use of informal style. Formal writing assignments require students to stick with a particular style of writing, and modern students often face difficulties following the guidelines. A lot of students find the process of writing an essay highly unpleasant. That’s why lots of students don’t put much effort into writing and write just to hit the word count. In addition, the accessibility of information increases the number of plagiarism cases.
Nevertheless, it seems like the positive aspects of technology overweigh the negative ones. As much as 96% of teachers say that digital technologies help students share their work with a larger audience, and 79% of teachers note that they also encourage collaboration. As a result, students invest more effort into the writing process and are more engaged because they are more satisfied with the outcome. However, there are also many digital tools that can facilitate the writing process so students might approach their assignments carelessly.
Writing has always been one of the most important skills for students. Many schools, however, don’t rush to adopt advanced technology to improve writing programs. Teachers may still argue about whether or not electronic devices are useful in the classroom, but nobody can deny the fact that technology has changed writing forever. Schools should aim to prepare students for becoming a part of the global workforce. In turn, students should withstand competition to get a job, and they won’t be able to do it if the technology isn’t the center of the program.
Here are some of the best practices that demonstrate how technology can be used in education.
There was a time when people could only write on their personal computers, sending copies to editors or teachers, and waiting until they could receive another copy with the necessary amendments. However, cloud technology changed the way we work and created countless opportunities for effective collaboration in real-time. While students write most of their papers alone, writing tasks beyond education usually involve collaboration. Before a book gets published, it must be revised by editors. Business presentations are usually based on teamwork, and even college admissions essays are usually revised by guidance counselors.
Besides, collaboration is always useful for students, no matter what subject they are studying. Schools need to prepare students so that they can become part of the workforce, and teamwork is one of the most important skills for professionals from many areas. A great tool for collaboration is Google Docs, which enables multiple people to work with the same documents, seeing all the changes in real-time.
2. Fundamental aspects
The writing process itself has changed drastically thanks to technology. The best examples of technology changing and optimizing the writing process are spell checking, plagiarism detection, and grammar checking. Of course, such tools are still not perfect. However, they become more and more advanced every year, enabling people to save a lot of time on editing and proofreading.
It’s important to choose reliable software that doesn’t store your materials after you submit them. One of the most popular solutions that can help you fix your grammar and spelling is Grammarly. It can not only fix some obvious mistakes but also offer suggestions on the word choice and writing style. You can also use an online dictionary or thesaurus, like Dictionary.com. This way, you’ll quickly find the right synonyms to any word, making your writing more engaging and interesting.
The originality of your content is important not only in college or university but also when creating web content, as well. There are many programs that enable you to check the originality of your text and to detect plagiarized elements. However, this is not the only way you can use technology to make your papers original.
Academic writing and student writing, in particular, requires you to be familiar with the common citation styles. Students often have difficulties with different citation styles because they need some practice to use a certain style properly. If you fail to attribute your quotes properly, they will be considered plagiarism. Fortunately, there are many online citation generators that can automatically adjust your references and quotes according to the necessary format so that you can be sure that your academic papers meet your school’s requirements.
4. Rubrics and prompts
Creating a decent rubric from scratch takes a lot of time. However, a good rubric can be very helpful for those who want to learn a new skill. Students should clearly understand what is expected from them when working on their writing assignments. Fortunately, now teachers and students have more opportunities to come up with relevant prompts and good rubrics, thanks to the internet. For instance, you can find dozens of writing prompts on New York Times Writing Prompts.
5. Feedback and grading
Students cannot improve their writing without proper feedback. Goal-oriented and actionable feedback can help students understand what exactly is good or bad about their writing style, what they should work on, and how they can make their writing more engaging or easier to read.
One of the most important things about feedback is that it should be timely. Teachers and professors don’t always manage to provide feedback quickly, which is a reason why students’ writing skills might evolve slowly. Fortunately, students don’t need to limit themselves to feedback from teachers. For instance, you can use tools like Peergrade, which enable students to review their peers’ work and to leave their feedback.
Technology has a huge impact on all areas of our lives, and academic writing is no exception. Even though it may seem like writing hasn’t changed much during the last 100 years, the truth is that we not only switched from typewriters to computers but also obtained numerous tools that make writing easier and cleaner.
Grammar checkers, plagiarism detectors, cloud text editors, and many other types of software simplify the writing process and help students save a lot of time. Technology also fosters collaboration and enables effective communication, which is important not only in the academic world but also in the workplace, as well.