Does blogging and text messaging help kids become better writers? Check out what the National Literacy Trust found out.
“Children who use technology are ‘better writers’.” So says a headline on the BBC website. The headline relates to a survey by the UK’s National Literacy Trust which explored children’s use of technology to write and their attitude towards writing. Some of the study’s key finding included:
- 75% of young people said that they write regularly.
- 61% had a blog.
- 45% said that they enjoy writing.
- 89% said that writing with a computer enables them to more easily correct mistakes.
- 60.7% of kids with a blog think they are good or very good writers, but only 47.3% of kids without a blog think that they are good or very good writers.
Some people may read the BBC’s headline and assume that blogging and instant messaging make kids more literate, but that may not be the case. Sure, kids with blogs probably are better writers than those without, but it’s almost certainly not blogging that makes them better. The fact is that kids who are good at writing are more likely to have blogs than those who are not. Similarly, kids who are good at soccer are more likely to be on a soccer team than those who are not. This is simply commonsense – like adults, kids tend to enjoy the things they are good at and do what they enjoy.
But is an enthusiasm for communication via blogging and instant messaging more or less important than being able to spell correctly and string together a grammatically correct sentence that isn’t riddled with non-standard English and text messaging abbreviations?