Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Literacy Revolution or More Illiteracy?

Are We Seeing More Illiteracy, Or a Literary Revolution?

from's Education Blog by Mike Smith

[Photo credit: Shareski]
Mike Smith wonders if there really is more writing going on than ever before!
I think he has a great point here.
If teachers are using the opportunities the internet and blogging allow, just possibly there is more writing going on today.
I just wrote comments to a class of first grade bloggers.  (You can too… go to Kathy Cassidy’s class blog.)
Now today their writing is not spelled well (or for some spelled at all – the teacher was the editor so we could understand what was said!), but I can’t wait to see their writing as it progresses over the school year. 
These students have an audience and they will have a reason to learn to write --- an audience of more than their parents and their teacher.  As students grow in ability and age their writing will take them many places.
These quotes taken from the blog post at Education seem to agree with my thoughts:
Clive Thompson discusses a potentially huge paradigm shift, asking whether we're seeing a literary revolution rather than increased illiteracy that's aided by Facebook, texting, and "dehydrated language."

Andrea Lunsford, professor of writing and rhetoric at Stanford, suggests that young people write far more than any previous generation. Having collected and analyzed 15,000 writing samples she concludes "we're in the midst of a literacy revolution the likes of which we haven't seen since Greek civilization."

Literacy is doing more than just grow in one direction: It's exploding and branching off into completely new directions.
What are you doing with your students to encourage more writing? 
How do they like it?
[As always, in my author quotes, the underlines, color changes, and bold type is mine, not the author’s!]

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