Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Pew / Internet Study: Writing, Technology and Teens

On April 24, The Pew Internet & American Life Project published a very interesting document titled Writing, Technology and Teens. The study looks at teen "writing" in the classroom and the use of web based tools like text messaging, email and social networks. It's a good-sized 71 page report that I found personally interesting. I've had the privilege of watching my two daughters (16 and 12 now) grow up in a connected online environment, communicating with friends using various online tools and have made many of the same observations reported in the Pew study:

Teens write a lot, but they do not think of their emails, instant and text messages as writing. This disconnect matters because teens believe good writing is an essential skill for success and that more writing instruction at school would help them.

Here's more from Pew:

Teenagers’ lives are filled with writing. All teens write for school, and 93% of teens say they write for their own pleasure. Most notably, the vast majority of teens have eagerly embraced written communication with their peers as they share messages on their social network pages, in emails and instant messages online, and through fast-paced thumb choreography on their cell phones. Parents believe that their children write more as teens than they did at that age.

You may have seen Librarian of Congress James Billington's recent comments and concerns about “the slow destruction of the basic unit of human thought — the sentence." Obviously Billington does not care much for these new ways to communicate.

Take a look at the Pew study - it's a little long but an easy read...... and...... I'll TTYL:)

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