The Internet and texting are here to stay, and this means that people are writing in a variety of formats and for a variety of different websites and apps. Each mode of Internet writing has its own standards and conventions that fall in different places on the casual/formal scale. Is instruction in formal writing even relevant anymore? Yes, more than ever.
How Technology Has Changed Communication
Texting and e-mailing are extremely prevalent today, and 40% of millennials prefer texting to e-mailing or talking. This means people are writing a lot, and the younger someone is, the more likely they are to prefer electronic communication to in-person conversations.
The Perils of Written Messages
It’s easy to miscommunicate (or be misinterpreted, depending on how you look at it) in a written message of any kind. You’re missing a lot of the context and subtle hints that tone and nonverbal communication can give. With any type of writing, it’s important to know what it is that you want to say and how best to say it. No one thinks about having an introduction, thesis, or conclusion when writing an e-mail. But even a text message is a composition, and a text or an e-mail is a reflection of writing ability.
Writing as the Future of Communication
If texting and e-mailing continue to dominate the way we interact, then writing is the future of communication. Many people fear that the social skills of younger generations will be stunted by their use of electronics. To combat this, I believe that an emphasis on writing skills is needed. Thirty years ago, the average student communicated almost exclusively verbally with their peers; today, writing is one of the primary ways we exchange ideas and feelings.
Using Technology to Reteach
Genius Plaza has a number of online resources that teach fundamental reading skills and writing concepts. We encourage students to reteach lessons they’ve learned and create their own eBooks, games, videos, and other online materials. Giving students an accessible means to create their own education materials makes the Genius Plaza platform a true peer-to-peer education tool. Every resource on the platform also has a section where students can reflect, ask questions, and discuss what they learned. We want to make education a more collaborative and social experience by giving students the skills and tools they need to write more effectively.