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Writing and Technology: Has anything changed?

Writing and Technology: Has anything changed?

The world is no longer a place where the pen is mightier than the sword; the competition is now between pen and QWERTY keyboard. Every advancement in technology is taking away the practise and pleasure of writing. Be it the printing press, papyrus, reed stylus, tablet, mobile phone or Artificial Intelligence, technology is changing why we learn to write, how we learn to write, why we write, what we write and how we write.

As much as it has affected our writing outside the classroom, educators today need to examine its implications in the in-class practices. Recent advancements in word processing, texting, speech to text conversion, etc have helped humans produce text at a very rapid pace. This has also changed the quantities of work being published every now and then to a greater extent, be it print or digital. Technology has changed the whole idea of what we considered writing. Usage of emojis, video clips, GIFs, images taken from another source take the readers on a journey through the topic addressed by the article. The reader may also find himself/herself in an entirely new area which was not possible through printed formats.

These advancements in technology have created larger spaces for writers to explore and exploit. The ways of communicating ideas, thoughts, knowledge or feeling by the writer and the absorption of the content by the reader have changed in multitudes. We need to consider that writing has become diverse and easy to produce. This allows the author to produce the writing to an unlimited audience. Options of exploring the content by the readers, sharing their point of views have changed the one-way traffic of writing that was present in the earlier decades. Writing today has become an on-going, enterprising conversation that is not dependant on time or distance. Thousands of texts, emails, social media posts are basic examples of this idea.

In spite of several changes in the way we write today, this has not changed the process of teaching children how to write inside the classroom. It is focused more on academic experiences and outcomes than real-world outcomes. While the earlier is very important for the child even in today’s generation, real-world outcomes should also be kept in mind and try to strike a balance between technology and traditional practices. This will help future leaders gain success as communicators in both mediums once they are outside the classroom.

Students need to be acquainted and in the process equipped with both the formats of writing, modern and traditional. Educators today need to equip themselves first with both the practices and then move on to teach their students and facilitate the process of how we write, what we write, why we write. This will help the future generation become the type of writer that the world demands.

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