Having spent most of my career in the English classroom, the state of writing in today’s society is always in the forefront of my professional mind. So it is distressing to me when I find that so many educators believe technology and writing to be at odds with each other.
It is true that many students today have developed poor habits from certain technologies. Yet the story does not have to end at the doorstep of “u” vs. “you.” When Johannes Gutenberg introduced moveable type in the 15th Century, it revolutionized the written world predominantly through the democratization of information flow. More authors came to share more ideas with more people. The road to the information superhighway began with Gutenberg and continued through the Digital Revolution of the 1990s.
Today, as we prepare to shift from a Web 2.0 (sharing) to a Web 3.0 (collaboration) environment, educators need to harness the prevailing winds and use them to chart in course towards improved student achievement. The collaborative nature of technologies such as Google Docs, SharePoint, and Moodle create a treasure trove of resources that can inspire an information flow unparalleled in human communications. The Revolution is over – now is the time to build new ways of writing. This generation of educators has a responsibility and an obligation to guide the formation of that paradigm.