Image via WikipediaI just read an article from Wired magazine regarding the literacy of this generation. It seems that Stamford University has done a huge study and found what a lot of us who work with technology in education and blogger generally) already suspected.
Students are writing more now than ever in the history of education and large amount of it is outside the classroom mandated essays and coursework.
emails, blogs, facebook, review sites, Wikipedia... the list of ways that people write and use text is huge and it is all with an audience in mind, usually people we don't even know if it is a broadcast.
What is also interesting is that the style of writing adapts as the writer writes for different purposes and audiences so the smiley face has not crossed over to the essay or term paper.
There are a couple of important things we must as teachers take from this.
1: Literacy is more important now than ever before in society - we are moving from Read Only to Read/Write. This includes written, video, sounds and images.
2: People / students will write for an audience, especially if the audience is more than just a teacher.
3: That the purpose must be authentic for writing to be enjoyable.
View the full article here - http://www.wired.com/techbiz/people/magazine/17-09/st_thompson