Pencil and Paper vs. Screen and Finger

The technological world is changing faster than they eye can see. Along with technology advancing, writing is changing as well. As a future early childhood educator, I decided to take a look at an application called iWriteWords Lite. This version is the preview of the app called iWriteWords, which is on the app store for $2.99.

This app was created to teach children how to write. Users must collect the numbered balls in order, by dragging their finger across the screen. The balls are placed in order to form specific letters and numbers. By doing this, children are learning how to form these characters. screen568x568 (1)

There are multiple options to chose from when using this app. Children can trace numbers, capital letters, lower case letters, capital words, and lower case words.screen568x568

So what does this mean for the future?

Before technology, children were taught to write using the basic pencil and paper method. I feel like applications like these are problematic for the future of children’s writhing. Though users are able to learn the proper way to form letters and numbers, they are not gaining the true experience of handwriting. Forming letters from their fingertips is not the same as forming letters through physically writing. I feel that once a child begins physically writing, they may struggle.

Interestingly enough, this app does not go hand-in-hand with Bolter’s idea of remediation from his article “Writing as Technology.” Through remediation, a technology is coming into existence, and replacing a past one. Usually, the new form is more advanced, and convenient. Apps like these are remediating the basic pencil and paper writing. Instead of learning the basic, well-known way, children are being taught through apps such as iWriteWords.

More and more technologies like this app are coming about, changing the way that children are learning the writing process. It’s clear how prevalent technology is becoming, and these children are growing up right in the center of this technological age.

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Day One: Tweeting Without Twitter?

Day One is a writing app that is identical to a journal. This is an interesting concept – you could have your own journal that can fit right into your pocket. Adding new entries is seamless and only requires the use of one button. Day One also makes logging information much more feasible.


Another positive about the app is that every entry that is logged can be saved directly to a Dropbox account, making all of your information safe and secure. You can also password protect your posts as well as set reminders to use the app daily.

Day One is useful because it helps writers stay in a routine, keep their work safe, and always have their daily activities traveling with them in their pockets.

Bolter states the importance of remediation in “Writing as a Technology”. If he were to review this app, he would see that Day One remediates the paper and pencil journal, composition book, diary, as well as handwritten lists and logs that could get lost. He would note the ease of saving and accessing work from specific days of the year through Dropbox and the calendar feature.


An article from lifehack,com states that Day One can also be used as a “private twitter” – this is very true! You can basically tweet about your day in the app, and the only person who will be able to see it will be yourself!

Day One is available for both iPhones and Macs.

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Accessibility is Key

There are many writing applications that are available to download on a Smartphone. Werdsmith is an intriguing app by Nathan Tesler that assists writers in completing their work. The application allows you to write, share, and receive ideas.

This application is a basic way for writers to keep track of multiple writings on their one device. Werdsmith organizes all different writings into two categories: ideas and projects. The ideas section is basically a place to jot down draft ideas that you are willing to explore. The projects column is a place for almost finished or finished ideas that have progressed into projects. There is a place on this app for you to plug in your e-mail address, which allows you to connect your projects and ideas with your e-mail as well as fellow e-mail addresses you may have such as friends, publishers, etc. This application is unique because it allows the writer to pick a time preference when they enjoy writing, such as the morning or the evening. After picking the time preference, Werdsmith will nudge you (alert your phone) to begin writing which is a struggle for many writers.

This app adds a bit of flavor to the process of writing and publication that many new age writers are looking for. With Werdsmith’s accessibility and reliability, it is easy for writers to be intrigued by this application.

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How one writing app plans to modernize publication

In the current state of ever-evolving technology, the modern writer needs to constantly be aware of the new modes of publishing. While some may mourn the loss of typewriters and pencils, the benefits surely outweigh the loss of more romantic ways of writing. One of them is easier access to publishing. As a timid writer, who’s perfection levels are bordering on OCD, I would never have the confidence to approach a publishing company about my work. Thanks to the internet and apps, now I don’t have to. I simply just publish my writing via revolutionary apps, such as Werdsmith, and watch as readers respond.

Werdsmith’s founder, Nathan Tesler, dreamed of an app that would enable any amateur writers to collaborate, write, and publish their work. A twenty-year-old Linguistics major, Tesler had no former knowledge about programing. However, that did not stop him in learning code and writing the app in three months. What began as a humble idea to allow him to jot ideas down and write on the go, has now transformed the writing industry. With about 100,000 users, it is modernizing the writer’s process to be more social and mobile. Tesler is hoping to link publishers with budding writers, in similar ways that Instagram has done for photographers.

In Werdsmith, a writer can play with several features. To begin, writers can jot down ideas on their home page. This is just to brainstorm; however, when they establish a goal, which is the amount of words they would like to accomplish in their piece, it becomes a projects. Just like the more well-known writing programs, Werdsmith has options to customize the font size and style.My personal favorite feature is the reminders. Writers can pick a time of day that they wish to write and, when that time comes, a bubble will appear on your phone to remind you. This presents the perfect remedy to the age-old problem of procrastination. If a writer is prompted to simply write one page a day for a year, they will accomplish three hundred and sixty-five pages per year.


After creating an account with your email address, the writer is able to create a profile in which other writers can subscribe to their account and read their published work. In addition, a free account stores and backups the writing in the app.

Just by envisioning an app that allowed writers to connect in a new way, Tesler has created a fantastic tool for tearing down the limitations that writers face. Writing can now be mobile and collaborative, one more step in modernizing technology.

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Just NotePad Review

The JustNotepad App for android phones is exactly that-just  a notepad. Sure there are a few bells and whistles thrown in-the option to doodle, (the ability to doodle over your already written notes is particularly satisfying), a user friendly “Copy-Paste” system that any Microsoft Word user will figure out in a second -but mainly, it is just a simple notepad. Not sure that the app “remediates writing” the way parchment replaced papyrus, or the word processor replaced the keyboard( a la Bolter)  but it does have some neat features. Devos and Porter, the authors of an ingenious piece on the influence of Napster on the writing world, take a similar stance on how new technologies often remediate an old one. The whole time I was using JustNotepad I couldn’t help but hear all those self-important writers in my head who say “I carry a notebook with me evreywhere I go.” I often wonder about these people who I see with actual notebooks. Not too sound snide, but with a smartphone, who actually needs that?

An excellent thing about the app is that it saves automatically, Google Docs style. Scribble something on your notepad and you won’t have to worry about it getting lost because you forgot to press the save button. That’s a neat feature-but probably a better feature of the app is that it’s free. A few of the writing apps I’ve looked into came with a price tag and I can’t imagine any of them being worth it. Maybe it’s just me, but I’d just as soon not write a novel on my smartphone. At least until the technology gets a bit better, I can’t imagine writing anything that long with just my thumbs. For the moment, I’d ignore those other high priced writing apps unless you think it’s really worth it. I mean, if you consider yourself a writer, do you really need to pay. $1.99 for a writing app to generate ideas for you? For it’s price tag of $0.00, you can’t beat just Notepad for it’s usability-especially if you are like me, and save your real writing for a desktop (or laptop).  For to do lists, or grocery lists, the app is perfect.

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Keep The Social Spirit Alive

Everyone is forewarned that the Internet is forever. In other words, the things that you post on your social media sites can pop in different aspects of your life at any time. Individuals have become cautious with the amount of information they have put onto these sites because of this reason. However, in Laurent Francois article he claims the exact opposite. Francois believes that just as technologies fade, social media fades as well.

Francois argument is accurate because we have seen AOL instant messenger fade as well as Myspace. Facebook is in it’s way out the technological door as well. Francois’ point is that while these social media outlets fade out, our information and history with the sites go with them. In an article by Chris Anderson and Michael Wolff, “The Web Is Dead. Long Live the Internet.” they address these exact issues relating it to the shift from the world web to simple internet explorer platforms. They write “Over the past few years, one of the most important shifts in the digital world has been the move from the wide-open Web to semiclosed platforms that use the Internet for transport but not the browser for display.”

Technology and social medias are fast pace changing and there is no option to slow the process down, but it is possible to preserve our aspects on these social media devices. Twitter’s most recent update has made all members tweets public, which has eliminated the option for anything to be changed or forgotten with the emergence of new technologies.

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School Decisions

Social media applications have become an aspect to consider while job hunting. While looking for a new job, perspective employers may look into these apps in order to figure out more information than an interview would be able to administer. People have become more cautious while using these sites which has involved many restrictions. Now colleges have turned to these sites to help them accept and deny potential students.

In an article by Daniela Perallon explains the studies that have shown more universities using this as a real test to screen incoming students. Students who post a lot on their social media accounts usually are posting negatively. These teens are being monitored not only by their own school but by potential universities as well.

For students who do not post inappropriate things on these sites have an even better chance of being accepted. While students who post negative things such as drinking do not stand a chance. Schools have been advising their students to post positive things on their page to hopefully attract universities such as community service, good grades, etc.

The social media sites have become a part of our everyday lives and students can not expect to have privacy from them if they continue to use them at this rate.

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Communication Breakdown?

Susan Tardanico’s article “is Social Media Sabotaging Communication?” is basically the (somewhat irrational, in my opinion)  fear of every tech-adverse person you’ve ever met, summarized and neatly packaged into an article. Yes, some interesting points are raised. Is it easier today to hide your try identity, and consequently, motives and feelings with the advent of social media? Perhaps, perhaps. And yet, I can’t help but wonder is this is really a sabotage of communication?

While the suicide attempt that Tardanico mentions is certainly tragic, I don’t think that this is an example of a break in communication. If anything, I would argue that social media is still improving communication in this situation-not because the end result was positive, but only because it achieved the communicative goal of it’s user; in this case, it was unfortunately deception.  For many people around the world, Social Media is viewed as a wonder of communication-building virtual bridges across the world, linking together people who otherwise would have never met.  In other words, I would suggest viewing Social Media the way we view tools, like the hammer, the pencil, or the gun. How it is used, and what effect it has, depends on the motivation of the person using it. Tardanico does seem to be getting to this point with her list of “Tips” for E communication at the end, but I’ll say it more plainly. Social Media can certainly be used to sabotage communication, but only if we let it-or perhaps, more accurately, if we want it too.

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Creativity-not just for English students!

The concept of Dan Holden’s article Creativity is the key to Education, so why aren’t we persuing it? is that the government just doesn’t understand the importance of creativity. I couldn’t agree more with the statement. I don’t see any real problem with the STEM program, per se, only that creativity gets the short end of the stick. The article really touches upon a little discussed aspect of creativity, in that it is not something that only belongs to “certain” branches of learning.

Like Dan Holden, I too believe that creativity can apply to any learning discipline-furthermore, I would take this concept one step forward and argue that creativity exceeds the limitation of being only for certain school subjects. Rather, creativity can apply to anything at anywhere at anytime. It seems like such an obvious statement but, as the the article demonstrates,  many people don’t understand it-they think creativity should be contained in a neat little box and left to the English students. We need to encourage creativity in math and science especially-how else will we come up for cures for diseases like AIDS or cancer? Certainly this can only be achieved by an out of the box thinker and if we convince future scientists that creativity is useless, it may never happen. Kudos to Dan for pointing out the issue!


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What is Dating in 2014?

Sydney Weisser

Recently, new dating apps have begun to take over the dating world as we once knew it. Prior to technology, dating was a basic task. With the help of new technologies, the tables have turned in the dating world.

An application called Tinder, provides users with the opportunity to “like” members of their preferred gender. An article by Callum Borchers talks about a Tinder user named Daniel Alder-Golden. Borchers states how users like Alder-Golden are simply there to browse and flirt with people for a brief period of time. Little thought is put into actually meeting the people they match with.

The online dating industry seems to be exploding. The popularity of apps like Tinder are increasing daily. Borchers states that the goal of these applications is to make the experience quick and easy. It becomes casual enough that virtually anyone will want to participate. Efficiency and accessibility seems to be the common theme for technology users.


Jay Wadhwandi, chief executive of Cambridge-based Singled Out, came up with a service in which women can find their matches after responding to a series of yes-or-no questions. Services like this can truly show how much the dating world has advanced. Prior to these apps, individuals had no other option but to interact with potential love interests in person. They were forced to get to know them on a personal level, by socializing.

By these services being free and simple to use, young people are a lot more compelled to try them out. It is clearly having an effect on the way that relationships work. The face-to-face interaction is diminishing, as mentioned before, most users have no intention of actually meeting their “matches” in person. People are granted the opportunity to again, shield themselves behind a screen. Sometimes gaining the confidence that they long for. Unfortunately, this allows people to alter their true personalities, giving their matches a false idea of the reality of the situation.