Writing in Today’s Online World

This is the second post in a series of three written by students in my ENGL 175T: Writing in a Digital Age class.

by Lisette Sandoval

The way that society reads and interprets things has changed drastically since online writing became popular. Online literature changes the way that we as readers interpret things. There are many surroundings on a website that contribute to different ways of reading something. With blogs and online journals or articles, we can read from top to bottom or in different orders and still make sense of the works.

New technologies have created a paradigm shift that have had unprecedented effects on the economy and traditional classrooms. Many corporations exist solely online, for instance: Google, Yahoo, YouTube, and Wikipedia. Three components facilitate this shift: participation, collaboration, and distribution. Classrooms are adapting to the new literacy found in this new web, challenging the way classroom curriculum is formatted, with web based elements being integrated into classroom activities. Because of these new technologies and the openness of the web writing is now no longer restricted to schools and the few published authors.Now, it is seeping out into the everyday world. Anyone can call himself or herself a writer because everyone has access to produce some form of digital writing. Most people, however, don’t connect their writing outside the academic world with literacy. It is this outside use of technology that allows students to apply literacy to real world applications, which when integrated into the academic world, can better support the development of literacy.

In order to join the future of writing society must support all forms of 21st century literacies. Computers changed the way people write; they extended expression beyond just pen and paper. The Internet has also further expanded the breadth of writers and writing, from email to text messages to blogs. Being literate in the 21st century is about composing words as well as knowing how distribute them to reach audiences. And there is no limit to how ones writings can be distributed, the writer need only be creative in their approach.

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