UBC Graduate Research

The impact of technology on emergent expository writing in a grade one class Yen, Myra Fay


Technology has become an integral aspect of society and education. Young children arrive at school with rich technological experiences and resources. This study looks at the impact that technology has on the development of emergent expository writing within a thematic Science unit of study on the rainforest. Fifteen grade one children participated in this study. Both print-based and digital writing samples were gathered over a five week instructional period and analyzed for key features of expository writing. These features included use of objective language, description of information, subject specific vocabulary, and conventions of writing. The findings also revealed that digital writing experiences increased engagement and interest. The results also indicated the print-based writing samples produced texts of greater length than the digital writing samples. Finally, the findings showed that in regards to the four features of expository writing, more digital writing samples had significantly higher occurrences at the highest end of the scale for each feature. A discussion of the significance and limitations of these findings follows. The impact of technology, including both advantages and disadvantages, on the development of emergent expository writing is discussed. Educators may wish to consider these implications as they integrate the use of computers and technology into writing instruction for young students

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