Writing is an essential life skill. It has been rightly said by Anais Nin, “We write to heighten our own awareness of life. We write to lure and enchant and console others. We write to taste life twice, in the moment and in retrospect.”The importance of writing cannot be overemphasized.
In this era of digitization, are the writing skills of the students diminishing? The digital revolution has brought about a huge transformation in the way students write and communicate. Students now have access to a range of multimedia devices such as mobile phones, computers, etc. This has given birth to new digital forms of writing which are making inroads into formal school writing. Students do not always realize the importance of internalizing the conventions of formal writing such as spelling, punctuation, capitalization, grammar, and sentence structure. Excessive dependence on technology is robbing the students of their ability to express their thoughts in writing completely, independently, and coherently. They tend to incorporate too many abbreviations and use non-standard words in their written tasks. Their editing and proofreading skills are also declining as they rely on technology to do the job for them.
We, teachers, need to help the students understand the difference between formal and informal writing and in what contexts each can be used appropriately. Students should be given more time to practice writing in a classroom environment and teachers should continue to give them proper feedback to augment their writing skills.
The ability to write with clarity and precision is a much-needed skill cutting across professions. Technology has undoubtedly opened up new avenues of connection, collaboration, and creativity. Technology is an integral part of education and should be leveraged to instill in students an appreciation for writing.