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Pew Research survey reveals positive impact of technology tools

Ebook reader/ electronic device for ebooks with a stack of books on top
Ebook reader/ electronic device for ebooks with a stack of books on top
Artpartner-images via Getty Images

There always seems to exist mixed feelings when education and technology come together in the classroom. A new survey published Tuesday by the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project offered positive indicators from the impact of digital technology on student's ability to write.

The analysis of this research sampled exactly 2,462 middle and high school teachers that participated in an online survey. About 78 percent of the advanced placement (AP) and National Writing Project (NWP) teachers confirmed that tools like the social media, internet, and smartphones enhance student creativity and personal expression.

The survey results included that 96 percent of instructors agree digital technologies allow students to share their work with a broader audience. Moreover, 79 percent of educators also assert these tools do encourage greater collaboration among the students.

“According to teachers, students’ exposure to a broader audience for their work and more feedback from peers encourages greater student investment in what they write and in the writing process as a whole,” according to the Pew survey.

Teachers offered various types of assessments in areas in which students performed well and in others needed significant improvement. For example, when it came down to grading the performance of nine specific writing skills teachers gave students good or fair standings as oppose to excellent or very good. In one area where students performed with poor standings it was around navigating issues of fair use and copyright in composition, or digesting long or complicated texts.

The survey findings stem from a non-probability sample from middle school all the way through high school. This was conducted between Mar. 7 to April 23, 2012. The geographic locations included of course the United States, Puerto Rico and U.S Virgin Islands.

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