• The Influence of Digital Writing on Writing Development and Writing Instruction in Traditional Paper-Based Curriculum

      Florian, Emma (State University of New York College at Fredonia, 2016)
      Digital (technology-based) writing is becoming prevalent especially among children and youth; they in turn bring many forms of digital writing into the classroom. On the other hand, proficiency level with paper-based writing remains low for many students. To address this problem of low proficiency and increasing digital writing from the perspective of a literacy specialist, the research question is, "how does digital writing influence writing development and writing instruction in the traditional paper-based curriculum?" To answer that question, a literature review and research synthesis have been conducted and have produced several findings. First is that the most frequently used forms of digital writing appear to be e-mail, blogs, wikis, software programs such as Microsoft Word, and writing that includes mixed forms or multimodal writing. The greatest influence of all forms of digital writing appears to be on students in grades 4 to 6, while the writing development of elementary and high school students is influenced in the areas of grammar and text structure. The influence of digital writing appears to becomes more complex as grade levels increase, with grades 1 to 6 influencing willingness to write and grades 10 to 12 influencing higher-level thinking. The fifth finding is that researchers appear to view digital writing as an instructional tool to benefit diverse, struggling and at-risk students. These findings form the basis of a professional development project presented on Google sites for Kindergarten to grade 12 classroom teachers. [from author's abstract]