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Technology and Literacy
Transcript of Technology and Literacy
Has technology helped improve literacy skills?
Technology (through television, texting, Facebook posting, and the Internet), has contributed to a increase in literacy skills.
It's been proven in a study
Research conducted by The National Literacy Trust on 3,001 children from England and Scotland showed that schoolchildren who blog or own social networking profiles on Facebook have higher literacy levels and greater confidence in writing.
Jonathan Douglas, director of the National Literacy Trust, said, “The digital age often gets a bad press but the findings of this report demonstrate that social networking sites and blogs are linked to young people’s more positive attitudes to writing."
Social media activity was also credited with encouraging children to engage with more traditional forms of writing. Those who were active online were "significantly more likely" to write short stories, letters, song lyrics and diaries than those who had no online presence.
Can social networking sites really boost literacy?
It appears that they can!
The National Literacy Trust found that social networking sites and blogs help students to develop more positive attitudes toward writing and to become more confident in their writing skills.
According to one of the studies, 49% of young people believe that writing is “boring.” However, students who use technology-based texts such as blogs have more positive attitudes toward writing.
The study also showed that students who write blogs or maintain a profile on a social networking site tend to be more confident in their writing ability.
More than 60% of students who blog and 56% of students who have a profile on a social networking site claim to be “good” or “very good” writers, compared with only 47% of those who don’t use social sites.
Dr. Spencer Jordan, a creative writing teacher in the School of Education at the University of Wales, notes that web technologies encourage young people to write confidently about things they enjoy.
Using social networking sites such as Facebook may help to improve children’s writing skills and self-confidence.
Having a blog also affects writing behavior. Students that spend time on social media sites are much more likely to keep a journal or write short stories, letters or song lyrics than those that do not participate in social networking.
Text messaging, social networking sites and blogs are a new form of literature that may one day be studied in schools in the way that books, plays and poetry are now.
What is the impact of technology on learning?
Research literature throughout the past decade has shown that technology can enhance literacy development, impact language acquisition, provide greater access to information, support learning, motivate students, and enhance their self-esteem. A strong research base supports the conclusion that technology can enhance all aspects of literacy development.
Can texting help with spelling?
Research conducted for a dissertation at the City University in London, graduate student Veenal Raval found that most students avoid textisms in their schoolwork. “They are able to ‘code-switch’ the same way that I would. I use slang when speaking to my friends and adopt a more formal means when talking to colleagues,” Raval told the Telegraph. In other words, students change how they spell according to the circumstances and the audience. They know to spell out the word tomorrow in a paper, but when making plans with friends, they go with "tom." This information shows that students do know when text-speak is inappropriate and that they know how to transition between academic and personal sharing of information.
Social media as a literacy tool?
English teacher John Wesley White, Ph.D. believes that social media use can not only increase literacy but also be used as a tool to deepen understanding and interest of literature. He creates Facebook pages for characters in the novels he teaches and he and his students engage in social media based conversations as if they were the characters they are reading about. He believes that this helps his students to better understand the reading because they have to understand the plot and characters in order to take on the virtual role of the characters. Take a look at some of the pages he has created.
A very interesting video with David Crystal's theories on how texting can help literacy.
Team A Group Members
What does all this mean?
It seems that technology is bringing the literature and language of our future and despite many thoughts to the contrary, the widespread use of social media sites, texting and other interactions over the Internet is affecting the literacy rate around the world. So the next time you receive the text, "Gr8. C U L8er." don't cringe, rather, think of it as the redefining of what it means to be literate in the age of technology.