Article Text Messaging, Computers and Literacy


With the disclosure today that when a 13-year-old student handed in her essay, her teacher discovered it had been written entirely as a text message, the question arises about the effect of text messaging on literacy and the effect of technology on our childrens mental ability. [Source: BBC] [Source: Evening Standard]

A similar story was published in the London Evening Standard regarding the effect that computers in general are having on the listening and talking skills of children. [Source: Evening Standard]

It seems that the power of computers to empower and educate is being counteracted, and that computer technology has a dark side that many of us would never have predicted.

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Texting's function is so limited that any attempt to use it as serious language will fail.

Texting, despite all of the ways we try to denote vocal intonation (ex: it was *really* good!), will never really relay all of the inflections in our voice.

I have a twin sister and even though I can usually read her mind without her having to say a word, I often have to ask her to clarify her meaning when we are text messaging. Therefore, I really doubt it will be used for any more than a small progressive step from in-person conversation to when we will have access to constant wireless vocal and visual connection to anyone in the world.

I think it's just a matter of not letting texting invade your literacy and spelling accuracy...

" computer technology has a dark side that many of us would never have predicted."
Is computer technology a dark side or that we haven't learned (as educators)how to use it in our instruction. If "texting" is a new wave of communicating, shouldn't we learn it too so we can find ways to incorporate it in our lessons. The lesson can be used to show "the good" and the "bad" of it's use.

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