Looking around it’s quite impossible to ignore the fact that technology is at every corner and in the palm of every human being. The digital age over time has proven to have many advancements in how the world proceeds to communicate with one another. With each day that goes by it becomes less unusual to see a seven-year-old walking down the aisle of a grocery store staring down into the palm of their hands at an electronic device of any kind. Digital writing might have replaced traditional ways of writing for the better, but that depends on how a writer chooses to use such platforms to their advantage that makes it worth wild. Writers today have relied too heavily on the assistance of technological writing softwares to correct and produce writing that almost seems far from the original works that were initially created. If upcoming writers do not take the opportunity to write and edit their own works without the aid of writing software then the skills and adaptation of writers may be lost for good.
While technology has advanced the way people communicate with one another it also begins to reduce the amount of effort people put into their writing. Sending emojis rather than actual words has proved to be a major shift in the way people communicate with each other just as much as the word preference options have spared texting time through cellphones. Replacing words automatically, suggesting phrases, and even saving common words used throughout their exchanges has reduced the amount of effort it takes for a single person to take the time to correct their own mistakes. Technology have thrived over the last twenty years in home, business, and educational settings. Digital writing has become a popular alternative for not only inspiring writers, but it has also transformed the way in which writers approach their formatting and writing styles. Authors Bishop and Starkey of “Electronic Literature” make this statement in reference to today’s writing approaches, “We now take for granted the ease and speed of word processing, but, particularly for those working in book-length forms, the ability to cut, paste, ad edit huge blocks of text has radically altered the composition process” (Bishop/Starkey 84). Bishop and Starkey regard the fact that writers have come to solely rely on the use of digital writing software to make corrections to their own work.
Throughout time it is understandable that information supplied through electronic literary sites and writing softwares are constantly changing before the blink of an eye. Changes can even form in the simplest of ways such as adding or removing information on formatting, writing techniques, and research which are necessary aspects in order to make a writer’s work successful. This implies that writers today are lacking in the expertise it takes to alter and edit their own work without the use of a digital aid. Every little highlight and opinion that softwares such a Microsoft Word, Google Docs, and Grammarly make take away the full effect of a writer’s style and brings into question their capabilities as a writer. This does not go without saying that writers who lack an understanding of punctuation and grammar are more likely to require the assistance of a digital writing software. What becomes even more apparent is that while information can change from time to time so can the digital writing software features. While one software may consider a comma here, an apostrophe there, and exchanging bland words for a bigger impact other digital writing softwares can suggest the complete opposite. It becomes hard to trust a single word processing platform when it could be just as opinionated as the next.
When it comes to the digitizing writing there are many hesitant approaches as to how the two can coincide with one another. Adam Kohler, author of “Digitizing Craft: Creative Writing Studies and New Media: A Proposal”, illustrates his concerns for the new age of writers regarding technique and creative thinking. As his work explains such issues Kohler writes, “Since the mass production of the first fully-assembled microcomputer in 1977, technological change has influenced not only the ways in which we write but also, for many of us, the ways in which we teach writing” (Kohler 55). Kohler’s statement defines the common concerns in which many writers rely themselves on the assistance of digital writing software. Kohler then explains in a more positive response, “In an era of blurred generic boundaries, multimedia storytelling, and open-source culture, scholars stand poised to consider the role that technology—and playful engagement with technology—has occupied in the evolution of its practices” (Kohler 380). This implies that while digital writing software has become a concern for future writers it does allow for a more interactive role in peer editing and constructive criticism. Digital writing in the twenty-first century has allowed for a broader range of discussion considering it providers writers to publish their work beyond the walls of a local copy shop and a personal blogging site. Connections between writers, editors, and publishers have now adapted to working through a digital spectrum and exchange files and input much faster than twenty years ago. Rather than the traditional and time consuming line by line edits writers can share thoughts and ideas much more fluidly in which response time becomes instant. Digital writing softwares also allow for a more interactive approach to qualified editors and initiate research time to be much quicker than average information texts.
Where educational foundations are concerned with writing courses, there have been observations regarding student attraction toward digital platforms. Components such as assistance with editing papers and possible interaction among peers allows for a more effective and precise learning environment. According to Troy Hicks, author of “No Longer a Luxury: Digital Literacy Can’t Wait”, it is important to expand publishing platforms and digital practices. In doing so it can allow for a broader range of writers who require the assistance of writing guides to provide clean and well thought out pieces in both creative and educational fields. When it comes to digital writing software and the relationship of informal style into formal writing assignments, there is a persistent need to better educate students about issues such as plagiarism and fair use.
While teachers are learning to adapt to the new world of digital technology it is important to establish the connection between students and their learning experiences. By combining new technology and lesson plans with each other students are more applicable to learning the advantages to digitized writing while maintaining the traditional thought processes of what it means to be a writer. If teachers can maintain a constant overcheck with students as they write their papers rather than allow them to sit in front of a computer all day and allow digital writing softwares to do the work for them than it is possible students will learn to grow and adapt along with it. Many students begin to lose focus and would rather use their time on a computer to surf the internet than write a five page essay on a traditional mundane scholarly topic. In any case digital writing softwares will allow students to not only adapt, but form an understanding of new and improving technological advantages of writing tools.
The effects of digital writing in classroom settings can vary regarding the methods at which current professional educators tend to make from time to time. According to Gail Hawisher and Cynthia Selfe, co-authors of “The Rhetoric of Technology and the Electronic Writing Class”, “Since the mass production of the first fully-assembled microcomputer in 1977, technological change has influenced not only the ways in which we write but also, for many of us, the ways in which we teach writing” (Hawisher/ Selfe 55). What Hawisher and Selfe proceed to explain that ever since the advancements of digitized writing softwares, teaching methods have adapted along with it, causing students to base their learning styles from computer assistance alone. Hawisher and Self, although sceptical, proceed to insist that by introducing computers into writing classes we can explore how language and the status quo changes in classrooms. Speculations that students adapt more to the way they write through a technological standpoint because it is quicker and more efficient comes into question depending on the process in which each individual student is more comfortable learning and adapting to.
Hawisher claims that the use of electronic classrooms can dampen a student’s creativity, writing, and intellectual exchanges. With rising technology, student labor is isolated at workstations on drill-and-practice grammar software or in word processing facilities. This is where computers are arranged, ranked, and filed so that teachers can examine each students work in a moment’s notice. Referencing Hawisher and Selfe, unless students can learn to write without the use of technology then it is possible they may rely too heavily on using computer tools and auto corrections. Hawisher takes this opportunity to press the issue of a dramatic decrease in student creativity by stating, “We need to be aware of the fact that electronic classrooms can actually be used to dampen creativity, writing, intellectual exchanges, rather than encourage them” (Hawisher 61). This refers to Hawisher and Selfe’s concerns that too many computer users of composition instruction tend to speak and write “the benefits of technology” in overly positive terms as if computers are a major necessity to classroom settings.
There is a major concern where the teachings through digital platforms can cause extensive issues to student learning capabilities and how they choose to use voice and recognition. How writers choose to communicate with one another through their writings differs and illustrates apprehension toward Digital writing and how it may substitute a students progression within their selected fields. While text messaging and instant connection chat rooms allow for a quicker alternatives for communication it also lacks the process in which young writers try to attain progressive and extensive thoughts through their writing. The fear of digital writing overtaking an individual student’s thought process is generally what many professors fear in regards to how well students will adapt yet remain in control of their own writing. A constant backlash of digital writing softwares pertain to the ineffectiveness of student adaptation to what they learn and how it will be perceived. If a single student does not benefit from digital writing it could put a hold on that specific student’s learning and how they actually may continue to struggle with new and evolving technology that is intended to assist students with common learning disabilities. It is possible for students with common learning disabilities to adapt to writing styles in the form of technological platforms, but it must be a joint progression between both student and teacher.
When it comes to the effectiveness of digital writing software and students from different educational backgrounds the lines become blurred. Regarding Elizabeth Muldrow, author of “Electronic Media: On Writing and Word Processors in a Ninth Grade Classroom”, “For a classroom processor, formatting was not a necessity, but given even limited experience, student writers moved naturally toward designing a clear-cut, attractive product appealing to an audience” (Muldrow 85). Muldrow proceeds to explain that in the consideration of writing platforms one dramatic effect of processing, was its ability to help those on the fringes of the school’s writing groups to actually write. For students with learning disabilities, writing platforms allow them to focus on where their weakest point are. Platforming tools such as word suggestion, grammar, and sentence structure become helpful guides for students who have disabilities or are just not as strong with their writing as they may be in other subjects. It provides assistance and additional help for students when an everyday teacher or their parents may not be able to help them at home. Muldrow explains, using her collected data, that students who showed lack of interest in writing course went from zero written production and isolation from the other writers to real fluidity and group participation in a month when using digitized writing softwares.
While digital writing softwares have a positive side in assisting students with learning disabilities there is also a decrease in student productivity for those who do not. Muldrow takes the opportunity to explain that students who are not initially classified as having a learning disability tend to take advantage of digital writing softwares. During a trial test, Muldrow found that students who successfully completed school writing assignments using a digital writing software lacked with non digital writing assignments. Grammar and punctuation were lacking in areas they had already succeeded in using a digital writing software. The fact that students were beginning to rely too heavily on digital writing softwares became apparent and forced educational systems to question if allowing students to complete assignments online was a good idea to begin with. The best writing teachers initially tend to push upon their students are the ones where students are not only trying their hardest, but put the effort into making it acceptable.
It becomes a big problem for teachers and parents to trust online sharing sites between students and anyone else who may have access to social sites. This includes digital writing sites that allows students to share their work online with anyone who may be able to give possible feedback. Digital writing softwares and a rising concern for student productivity also bring into consideration the idea of plagiarism and how it works against a student’s capability as a writer. It has become so easy for students to copy and paste someone else’s words and allow a digital platform to rearrange phrases to make it look like the student’s work is original. For kids who have grown up texting, sharing files, and instant messaging, it is pretty much drilled into the back of their minds at this point. It is something professional educators have to keep reminding and keep looking at. There is also the effect of the speed of the new technologies. Teachers have discussed that digital tools have allowed students to write carelessly, causing mistakes and the unforgivable lack of revision. They aren’t always thinking about revising. Writing is taken to be more than just a simple assignment within a classroom setting. It becomes more in regards to the initial everyday activity at home, in a business, and exchanging proper paperwork between two or more people. Writing reflects the way in which many people not only think , but speak to one another. Writing transforms from a simple thought into a story, an idea, or even a plan of action. The ways in which is interpreted solely depends on how it is written. If not properly executed through writing a simple idea could become lost or even misunderstood depending on what it is and who is reading it; therefore it is important to understand and execute writing in a proper and sufficient way that everyone can understand. Digital writing tools allow for these thoughts to become clearly represented.
Multiple writing softwares and their mechanics alter a writer’s capabilities as they vary from one paper to the next considering what might have been a suggested formatting and sentence structure may not be used again for another piece of work. The simple click of a button allows a writer to change words in and out, add a comma here, put a period there, remove a fragment, and so on. The hardest thing a writer can do is learn from their own mistakes, but it almost seems impossible when a machine is doing it for them. There is no guarantee that a writer will learn from a grammatical mistake and use it to their advantage when they choose to write again. There seems to be a lack of appreciation today in a world full of electronic devices that can do all the work for you with just a push of a button. Writing creatively becomes less popular with each day that an electronic device decides to upgrade their systems and make it easier for people to communicate. It does reflect in their education and it seems that sooner or later there will be an entire new language made up that reflects far from traditional writing styles. The population of capable writers decreases each and every day that a new digitized writing software is produced and it may just end up doing the work for them rather than just assist them.
As an advantage to including digital writing platforms into classroom settings students will be able to take what they learn and apply it to their future careers. Rather than the traditional use of pen and paper and in class editing by peers, digital writing softwares will allow for a more wide range of possible editing techniques for students and their classmates to take part in. There is without a doubt the belief that students can benefit from digital writing softwares so long as they use it to the proper advantages and take into consideration the amount of time and work that goes into writing and editing pieces. It could also benefit students in the long run to gain experience with using digital writing softwares considering it may be vital to the fields they work in during the near future. This doesn’t go without saying that students should only rely heavily on the use of digital software and adapt to it as a crutch for their writing. Allowing students to write with the traditional pen and paper method once in awhile may benefit them not only educationally, but it may allow them to think critically as they write rather than pushing a few simple buttons every now and then and actually feel the need to go bad and alter their work.
Today, college/university graduates come into contact with a quickly evolving range of technologies and have access to a wealth of information. Students can be more successful after graduation depending on their ability to cope and adapt to a digital writing software which is usually required in the working environments which offer many job opportunities that supply computers and digital writing implements. Digital writing softwares have their perks and they have their downfalls when considering how they are used. In the event that technological advancements are no longer a viable option to upcoming writers it is important to institute that writers learn to perform to their full potential without the use of technological aids. It will allow for writers who have the skills and dedication to produce pieces that have been given the time and consideration without having a software correct the mistakes that seem almost juvenile.
There is no denying that digital writing softwares have pros and cons that could be viewed in different ways. Depending on how each student prefers to use them to their advantage depends on them and it even more so on how professors choose to implement their teachings of the subject and the purpose of each platform as it should be used. In the area of a student having a learning disability it is even more so dire to consider that students with disabilities should take into consideration the advantages that digital writing softwares could provide in specific areas. While the limitations of digital writing softwares could possibly hurt students we cannot ignore there are students who desperately benefit from its assistance. It is important to remain neutral to the idea that digital writing softwares are vital standpoint and must be viewed for both pros and cons in the end. How a student uses them to their advantage is up to them.