Digital writing tools for students offer advantages like widened readership and increased creativity, but concerns exist, such as informal writing and dependency issues. Striking a balance is crucial for fostering students’ individualistic writing skills.
What are Digital Writing Tools?
Digital writing tools refer to all computer programs, software, websites, apps, or digital resources that help improve writing skills by highlighting mistakes, suggesting edits, and correcting your grammar and spelling mistakes as you type into a document. Digital writing tools help students or professional writers to bypass the proofreading stage by correcting your text just as you write, saving you time and effort of doing it later.
To use digital writing tools you must be writing on a digital medium. Some digital tools also require you to connect to the internet while writing. We recommend using a fast and reliable internet preferably a fiber connection. You can check for AT&T internet availability in your area through their webpage.
The main purpose of technology is to speed up daily mundane tasks that would otherwise take up double the time. In that aspect, digital writing tools are quite successful as they make writing easier and faster. However, is using digital writing tools beneficial for students? Let’s find out.
Impact of Using Digital Writing Tools on Students
According to a survey of the National Writing Project (NWP) and Advanced Placement (AP) consisting of 2462 teachers, it was found that digital writing tools benefit students by widening their readership and encouraging them to write well and write more. As students write on digital mediums, they are encouraged by their teachers to share their work on social networking sites where more people can read their work.
Positive Feedback From Teachers Who Took the Survey
According to the same survey, the majority of teachers believe that digital technologies enhance students’ creativity and personal expression, encouraging them to collaborate with other students and gain confidence in sharing their written material with a wider audience.
Counting the positive aspects, teachers also mentioned that it is easier to teach students writing skills through digital writing tools as opposed to otherwise. Furthermore, students who use digital tools tend to use more creative and expressive ways of presenting in class such as using digital whiteboards and presentation tools. 40% of students who write on digital mediums upload their work on blogs, websites, or Wikipedia pages. And, students using writing tools edit and revise their own work before submitting it, gaining a better idea of not making the same mistakes again and again.
Negative Feedback from Teachers From the Survey
On the flip side, teachers complain about students using informal language and tone due to using too much internet lingo and communicating informally with their friends online. A lot of students use internet abbreviations and a casual tone while writing which does not help them get better at writing but rather leaves a very bad impression.
Moreover, calling digital tools a ‘shortcut’, teachers admit that students who rely on technology to help them write are lazy writers, who do not put in the effort of writing details and elaborate lengths of text. Their critical thinking skills are also fogged by the ease of suggestive text that digital writing tools offer.
Adding to the negative feedback, 46% of teachers say that writing tools are making students dependent on them. Students instead of thinking about a topic and coming up with their unique voice, rely on fast and quick writing techniques. As these tools autocorrect your grammar and spelling, students do not actively learn spellings or work on their grammar skills, meaning, if they write without the help of writing tools, they will end up making a mess.
Should Students be allowed to rely on Digital Writing Tools?
According to teachers who participated in the survey, allowing students to rely on digital writing tools may reduce their ability to write unique, appropriate, and individualistic material. As you’re depending on a computer for word suggestions and tone correction, what you write will automatically be read in a very robotic and generic tone.
Secondly, if students rely entirely on technology for their writing, they may end up clueless without digital help is a very negative aspect of technology. Students should be encouraged to write with their hands on their own, using their own spelling, grammar, and critical skills so they can polish their skills and learn how to write appropriately for different audiences.
In conclusion, it is great to take the help of writing tools to avoid long hours of editing and proofreading, however, relying completely on technology may reduce your brain’s ability to come up with your own voice.