(Digital Tools) 2020 turned out to be challenging for everyone. The pandemic forced people to stay at home and try to adapt to new realities.
Teachers started giving lessons using various educational platforms. Students had to be isolated trying to get the desired grade.
They had to write homework and send photos of written assignments online.
Students often typed everything instead of handwriting. That could affect their writing skills and grammar.
This problem raised discussions among educators and parents. Is everything so bad?
Official Research on the Effect of Digital Tools on Student Writing
Teachers often argue about the positive and negative effects of digital tools on student writing.
According to Pew Research Center, 50% of teachers consider digital tools to be helpful.
Nobody doubts a great opportunity for students to share their papers with more target readers.
Consequently, a wider audience can get acquainted with the writing and comment on it.
Another benefit of the use of digital technologies is the encouragement of a person’s creativity.
Another 50% of teachers regard it as a useless or harmful factor concerning students’ literacy.
The survey showed 94% of interviewed teachers agree on the importance of writing skills. Students often write test papers having a pencil and a piece of paper.
The Study proves that handwriting has a better effect on a person’s memory and learning. So, teachers asked their students to write some assignments by hand and send photos of ready papers.
It turned out to be a perfect solution for all participants of the educational process.
The biggest problem of typing is the temptation to copy and paste someone’s work. Previously, it was hard to differentiate between a unique and a plagiarized paper.
Today, educators use plagiarism checkers. They scan electronic variants of students’ homework to identify the percentage of uniqueness.
Besides, some checkers introduce sources a person has read and rewritten. Sometimes it is hard to understand what idea is yours and what thoughts are born due to analyzed articles and research papers.
As a result, many students had to do their homework again and lost their grades.
What Are the Pros and Cons of the Use of Digital Tools in Education?
One should not regard digital tools as an absolute evil or blessing. Every invention has positive and negative aspects. On the one hand, students waste their time playing computer games.
On the other hand, one can download and install educational games to learn something new with pleasure. So, gadgets might be helpful and harmful.
Teachers are to control their use in education and combine them with simple handwritten assignments.
One can find the five following advantages of using digital tools when teaching or learning writing:
- more opportunities for self-expression and creativity development
- an easier way to share ideas with others
- better collaboration among students and educators
- an excellent approach to interest students in studies
- faster and simpler access to the required data
The youth feel better when sharing their ideas and feelings online. They use photos, infographics, or videos to support their thoughts.
Moreover, all students have an account on social networks. It simplifies everything because they like to spend time online.
Consequently, teachers spend less time and effort trying to involve students into studies.
Another benefit is the data availability. Previously, a student had to go to the library to find the required information.
Now, one can find it quickly on the Internet or via a personal account and a pass in the online library. No need to waste time on library visits.
Moreover, the required books can be in the archive, and a person might need to wait longer. Online research is also cheaper.
These are five negative effects of digital tools on student literacy:
- more cases of plagiarism
- poor memorizing of correct spelling because of smart keyboards
- lack of formatting knowledge
- use of slangs, colloquialisms, and shortened forms of verbs
- preference of informal writing to a formal one
Smartphones have the function of a smart keyboard. A person chooses a hint instead of typing the whole word.
It is faster, though one does not memorize the spelling and often fails to write it correctly without a digital assistant. Such messaging is informal and includes colloquialisms.
Such writing habits affect a student’s ability to write an academic paper without mistakes and according to the demanded format and language style.
Top 5 Effective Digital Tools to Improve Student Writing
If you need digital tools to improve your or your students’ writing skills, CustomWritings offers professional essay services along with free writing tools for your academic needs.
Google Hangouts and Virtual Debate
Argumentative writing is essential. Google Hangouts and Virtual Debate help to start discussions on some vital topics.
Students conduct research when getting ready and record or post articles in these tools. Their audience is judges who evaluate students’ work and introduce arguments.
Google Docs and Kaizena
Voice recording is better than emotionless typing. Sometimes it is enough to point to mistakes in a comment on Google Docs, but some students are too vulnerable to criticism.
A teacher’s voice tone can be encouraging and stimulate a person’s wish to improve the writing or project.
Grammarly and NoRedInk
Red ink is the nightmare of most students. Grammarly and NoRedInk provide suggestions a person should correct. NoRedInk offers personalized assignments to meet a person’s interests.
Professors can monitor the progress in real-time. Besides, one can integrate it with Google Classroom.
Blogger, Edublogs, and Social Platforms (Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, etc.)
A student can run a blog or posts to share ideas and get feedback in comments. It is a practice of writing and the development of research skills for everybody.
Scholastic Story Starters and Storybird
These platforms offer challenges, and a student needs to cope with them. Storybird provides works of professional writers and guarantees feedback from experts for your stories.
Scholastic Story Starters looks like a crazy game with sometimes weird but challenging tasks.
The world is changing rapidly. Students and teachers are to adapt to it. Digital tools became an integral part of our education system. One should be smart to use them properly and benefit.