Tech and Writing Skills

Does Tech Improve Writing Skills?

comps278% of 2,462 U. S. middle and high school educators taking a recent online Pew Research Center survey said that digital technologies help students create and express themselves. Furthermore, According to the survey, 96% of educators surveyed agreed that digital tech lets students share work with a broader audience, and additionally, 79% agreed that digital tools encourage greater student collaboration.

Students seem to add a bit more effort when a larger audience of their peers will view their work. Not only does the Internet provide a larger audience of readers, it also provides a larger number of possible collaborators for projects. The educators in the survey were 1,750 Advanced Placement (AP) teachers, along with 712 educators from a sample of National Writing Project teachers.

It’s interesting that of the surveyed educators, 50% said that digital devices made teaching writing easier, while 18% said they made it more difficult. The survey didn’t claim students produced better compositions. Instead, there was an inclination for students to add words to papers suitable for social media, but inappropriate for formal compositions. The majority of the educators made lessons of ownership, plagiarism, and academic property and copyright a part of their classes. Another possible social media connection was that students had difficulty reading and assimilating longer and more complicated texts.

The technology use results seem a bit disappointing. 52% of educators surveyed used interactive whiteboards, 40% shared student work on blogs and websites, 36% had students edit their own work, while 29% used collaborative web-based tools like Google Docs. Among the educators surveyed, integration of education technology, or tech use, was no more than 50%,  and that may be the biggest, and most telling, take-away from this survey.

Learn more at Pew Internet.

Ken Royal

Ken Royal is an educator with 34 years of classroom/school and instructional technology teaching experience, as well as a blogger on all things education and education technology. Teaching accomplishments include: 4-time district teacher of the year, Connecticut Middle School Teacher of the Year, as well as Bill and Melinda Gates award for Technology School of Excellence. He is an Education storyteller. Follow @KenRoyal on Twitter.
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