I read the most fascinating article about … you guessed it… WRITING!! How Do Tech Tools Affect the Way Students Write? by Katrina Schwartz is a powerful compare and contrast outlining the good and the bad about writing in today’s technology filled world. Most teachers interviewed felt that the ability to share work with a wider audience was more engaging to students. Also, students were more likely to give feedback to peers by using a shared document such as word or Google Docs. Additionally, many online tools helped students organize their writing and create longer richer stories. Finally, the use of technology has greatly improved students willingness to go through the entire writing process. They are more willing to revise and rewrite if they do not have to recopy from the beginning. I have found this to be true for my students. TDA has a huge writing project each spring. My class was very worried about the writing, editing etc. When I told them we would type our books relief flooded their faces. We successfully completed the entire process on the computer. This saved hours of class time and rewrites were much shorter. The students typed their rough drafts. Together we would print the story and conference. I would use a Flair pen to edit and help mark rewrites. They could easily go in and make changes. They were eager to use the computer and eager to make their story better. I was thrilled with the wonderful end products.
In the downside, the article talks about the fact that technology-texting has changed the way we write. It is very informal and often uses short cuts. ( GR8!) Teachers are seeing these short cuts show up in formal writing. They are spending some class time discussing formal and informal writing. Finally, they discussed the copyright issue. So many students do not know what to cite on a formal paper, how to cite and what images many or many not be used. The overall feel of the article was for more technology with writing but the teachers must be the guide.