In my earlier post on writing, which looked at the reasons for and against using class time for writing assignments, I focused almost entirely on traditional pen-and-paper writing. I'd like in this post to look more at reasons for using ICT-based activities for writing skills, and suggest some activities that could work on a VLE such as Nfomedia (which is free!).
So, why are ICT tools and online writing good for students?
1. ICT-based reasons.
- Students need to be familiar with basic internet tasks in English – logging in and out, completing web forms, reading and replying to short messages, and using web etiquette. (OK, so most students will already be extremely familiar with this, but by no means all!)
- The configuration of UK keyboards is different – for example the @ key is in a different place from European keyboards. And of course, many students will also be used to keyboard configurations for completely different alphabets.
- If students aim to use their English in a professional environment, they are likely to be using a computer; hunt-and-peck typing is rarely going to be acceptable.
- Many exams are now computer based, and this will become even more common in future.