Digital technologies enable communication and collaboration--teachers can use them to make students more productive with digital writing.

Why teach digital writing to students in 2022?


Digital technologies enable communication and collaboration, and teachers can use them to make their students more productive

The internet has changed writing forever.

Have you ever thought of your students alongside Hemingway, Shakespeare, and other well-known writers? They are actually: All their messages, blogs, and social media posts go online today, together with novels, poems, or stories of professional writers.

Now they write more than speak. Online communication calls the shots, and Gen Z doesn’t perceive informative writing as we did 20 or 30 years ago.

Our students don’t only write about their personal life but share community and society news – and their opinion matters, as people read those writings online, “listening” to those thoughts.

Digital writing can be anything: blog posts, social media updates, text messages, e-mails, comments on news, e-book, movie or product reviews at thematic communities, fan fiction, or poems posted online… Words become actions on the web.

But:

  • There is a big gap between what students consider good writing on the web and what we teachers explain it to be in schools.

Writing in schools and colleges has nothing in common with digital writings students read online every day. And that’s a trap for teachers: How to make a connection between digital and academic writing, given that computer technologies have transformed the meaning of this word?

Are writing skills still critical to get in schools? Does digital writing matter in education?

Why does writing matter?

The answer is in this article’s intro: Our words become actions on the web, and we live through them, building views, dreams, and communities with the messages we share online.

2004 seems so far away now, but it was the year when the US National Commission of Writing published a report revealing the importance of writing skills for getting a job and building a career. They called writing a “threshold skill” for hiring: If you can’t write, your chances of landing a job or getting a promotion are few.

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