Developing good digital practices

January 19, 2023

As we prepare our students for middle and high school we need to keep those benchmarks in mind, "it is essential for students to review different media with a critical eye, students must demonstrate an understanding that media are often from a specific point of view and the ability to discern between various media is essential to becoming an informed citizen”. The uses of digital technology must lead to an ethical reflection carried out collectively in all subjects because we are all impacted by the changes digital media have brought to our global society.It is obvious that critical reflection is essential to the advancement of good practices and is a determining factor for the development of responsible citizens.

Handwriting versus digital writing?

The media regularly reports on the competition between handwriting and digital writing. Sometimes in an alarmist tone, they even announce the abandonment of cursive writing. It is not a question of opposing handwriting and digital writing [1]. Cognitive scientists agree that the act of writing is fundamental [2]. But as Jean-Luc Velay suggests, the keyboard can find its place in this learning process because it is "easier on the motor level".As for the autocorrect, the illusion persists among students that the computer will carry out the task of correcting their text. How naive. Of course, it is necessary to show students that they should take the time to think through the process of highlighting and reviewing “mistakes” as well as considering the various suggestions in order to make an informed choice.Therefore, the autocorrect does not encourage laziness and does not exclude the traditional learning of spelling standards. Using frequent errors that the students are able to correct themselves shows a reasoned use of autocorrect, its effectiveness and its limits.

Writing production and its challenges

We are, of course, dependent on the material conditions within our classrooms. The equipment in an ordinary class generally includes a single computer and a video-projector. The pedagogical use of these tools is often limited to projection. In reality, the obstacle is to make writing a real learning objective so students become aware of the processes involved and requirements for students to succeed.We must therefore build sessions and even complete sequences around writing: from the simplest to the most complex task.The challenge is to help students understand how writing and written expression are valuable tools in the learning process and to make oneself vocal. At it’s core, writing is what allows individuals to build themselves and to be heard.


[1] TV5 monde documentary, 31/08/2014, Anne Chemin, « Le stylo n’a pas dit son dernier mot », Le Monde, 13/11/2014: mot_4523185_3224.html

[2] Jean-Luc Velay, « Clavier ou stylo : comment écrire ? », Cerveau & Psycho, n° 11.

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