Texting Improves Literacy Skills!

We all know that teenagers love to text.  According to Amanda Lenhart, Senior Research Specialist, Pew Internet & American Life Project, “More than half of teens (54%) are daily texters.”   Thank you Mr. Obvious for helping to research how many teens text daily.  Any parent or teacher of teens already knew this answer.

However, a concern of parents and teachers has been whether all of this text messaging could hurt a child’s literacy.  Two researchers, Beverly Plester and Clare Wood, used 35 eleven-year-olds to learn the effect text messaging, specifically abbreviations, had on reading and writing skills.  They found that texting with abbreviations can actually improve spelling and writing skills.  http://www.guardian.co.uk/education/2006/sep/11/schools.uk1  So much for blaming change or technology on student achievement!

Now, I am not ready to have my students write essays in text message abbreviations, but it looks like I will have to accept those texts with abbreviations that my nephews and children send me.  And, I am curious how I can have students text in class.  Last year, I had a student teacher who showed me how to create a quiz that students would answer using text messaging.  The live results could be shown with a multimedia projector.  It was an engaging way to review a day’s lesson.

If anyone has any other ideas I would love to hear them.

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Filed under Lesson Plans, Measuring Student Success

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