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Can access to digital tools actually improve student writing?

November 1, 2013

MonahanOne criticism that I have heard related to the “digital age” in education has been that students aren’t writing “like they used too.”  Well, according to a recent Pew Research study – the opposite is true.   The study reports that 78% of the almost 2,500 AP and National Writing Project teachers surveyed said that digital tools such as the internet, social media, and cell phones “encourage student creativity and personal expression.”

The article notes:

According to teachers, students’ exposure to a broader audience for their work and more feedback from peers encourages greater student investment in what they write and in the writing process as a whole.

There is little doubt or argument that access to digital tools is changing how students express their learning.  I feel there is little benefit to lamenting the shift – it’s time to embrace the change and focus on engaging the learner with rigor.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. November 4, 2013 8:07 am

    All technologies create their own jargon. Think about your physician writing a script to the pharmacist, or the words used to describe parts of a ship. This are old examples and we are no longer threatened by them. Twitter and texting are new technologies that have new limitations within their expanded capabilities. These have moved into the mainstream with their shorthand to cram as much information into their limited space. These are just a couple examples of tools in cyberspace. Many others exist and enhance our ability to speak and write more clearly.

    It is important that we provide the critical thinking education that allows the students to choose the appropriate tool at the appropriate time. The old adage “if your only tool is a hammer the whole world looks like a nail” still applies.

    As a world figure said, “Be not afraid.”

  2. November 4, 2013 8:08 am

    To summarize… Yes.

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