A new report by the Pew Internet and American Life Project, The Impact of Digital Tools on Student Writing and How Writing is Taught in Schools, shares the results of a survey of 2,462 Advanced Placement and National Writing Project teachers. Data were collected in online and in-person focus groups.
Pew researchers asked educators about the effect of digital tools on their students’ writing skills. They also wanted to gather more information about the digital tools that teachers use in their classrooms and find out whether these tools help students become better writers. Survey participants were also asked to share their views about the skills their 21st Century students’ will need to be successful in their future lives.
A Few of the Pew Findings
- Many teachers believe that the increasing digital world audience for writers encourages students of all ages to taking writing more seriously.
- Seventy-nine percent of the educators surveyed agree or strongly agree that digital tools encourage students to collaborate with one another.
- Fifty percent of the teachers report that digital tools make it easier for them to help students improve their writing. Interestingly, thirty-one percent say that these tools make little or no difference.
- Writing journals continue to be an important tool in English classes because they help students think about and fine-tune the process of writing.