“Is technology a blessing or a curse?” I remembered hearing those words from a reputable IT professor during a presentation many years ago. Many of the participants in the discussion that followed agreed that it was a “blessing,” even though the professor himself admitted that, in general, he’d found technology to be “a curse.”
Years later, I still hear his voice echo in my head whenever I come across events that call into question the purpose of technology in education. In truth, this is one of the most controversial topics of discussion in schools today. Even though it has made students’ lives much better, some are wary of how it could take away the very skills that are essential to academic learning.
Thanks to technology, the world is evolving at breakneck speeds so much that, in the words of JPost.com, “Our children will lead very different lives than their parents.” These days, students are constantly exposed to tech hardware, such as smartphones and laptops, and online/digital tools, like proof-readers, plagiarism and grammar checkers, editors, citation generators, and many more.
One question sticks out among the bells and whistles and red flags linked to these provisions: has academic writing improved or deteriorated thus far? Let’s find out.
Identifying the Source
With more students relying on online educational service providers and technological tools to meet their academic demands, it seems like all fingers point to them for being lazy. But beneath the surface, it’s startling to learn that they’ve been assigned more writing projects than they can complete within the allotted time.
Many of them already have other courses that take up so much of their time that juggling everything in one place is tough. As a result, internet writing providers relieve them of such stress. This discovery is supported by an examination of various online writing service evaluations, including essaybox.org reviews. But then, the roses are not free of thorns.
Beneficial Impact of Technology on Academic Writing
Often, students find academic writing difficult to complete due to the complexities of the language employed and the nature of the subject matter. The use of technology can assist to alleviate this problem. That being stated, here are some benefits to consider.
The internet is packed with resources totalling several petabytes of data. Therefore, students will never be at a loss for what to utilize as a study guide to complete their tasks. But that’s not all; students can harness online writing tools to develop their writing skills better.
Some anti-plagiarism programs check to ensure originality, while others analyse the grammatical structure for errors, and still, others assess a student’s use of vocabulary. Students may practice their writing skills online by creating blog posts, answering queries, giving presentations, and revising essays.
With the use of online platforms and social networking sites, students can interact with their peers on a personal and professional level. This interaction allows them to share their work, receive feedback, and use the data collected to revise their writing. Consequently, they develop important relationships with people in their academic communities.
Improved Academic Grades
Since the internet is a treasure trove of knowledge, students have no problem accessing detailed information on a particular subject. Hence, they become acquainted with their subjects, in advance of coursework and final exams. Available within their grasp are the best sources for research, the most relevant articles for their studies, and, of course, the best writing tools.
Likewise, due to the help that students receive from their tutors and peers online, they can effectively prepare for tests and exams. Consequently, achieving good grades becomes more realistic.
Time Saver and Efficiency
Online programs like Google Drive, which uses cloud computing, allow students to access all of their files, including course materials, from their computers or mobile devices, anytime and anywhere. They can then work on the materials, submit assignments online, and access their grades.
Another time-saving feature that many students use is web-based software for writing. Google Docs, for instance, allows students to write essays and make presentations. They can make changes and have them reviewed online before submitting them to the teacher.
Harmful Effect of Technology on Academic Writing
In this fast-paced technological world, we now expect to complete a lot of things almost on the spot and academic writing is no exception. Some students no longer rely on their inherent creative abilities, which has resulted in academic issues like plagiarism. In this regard, here are some of technology’s drawbacks.
Technology today has brought plagiarism to the forefront. Students tend to copy and paste their text from the internet to write essays and even take part in competitions. They also use content in the form of quotes or research done by others without properly acknowledging them.
Notwithstanding, there are anti-plagiarism checkers. Some of them are highly advanced and expensive that not many can afford them. Others are much cheaper and have a handful of sophisticated features that detect even small-scale copying.
Another problematic side-effect is over-dependence. Many students who lack strong creative abilities can’t complete their assignments while away from their computers. In contrast, those who are creative gradually become intellectually sluggish.
This factor hinders academic writing. It may also cause other problems like procrastination, anxiety, and an unhealthy obsession with technology.
Technology is evolving and will undoubtedly keep doing so in the future. However, it should not influence one’s academic writing negatively. It’s time for teachers to sensitize students on the pros and cons of technology and how to manage them. By doing so, they will stay updated, implement a better writing approach, and prepare for the future.