Saturday, August 29, 2009

Are Computers Killing Literarcy Skills?

A major study out of Stanford University suggests the reverse. In fact, computers are helping to build literarcy skill, especially writing skills. Lunsford traced students' writing skills and habits over time. Read a synopsis of the study in an article from Wired magazine: Clive Thompson's on New Literacy. Also, check out this article that appeared in Intelligent Life: We Are All Writers Now. Post your responses.

1 comment:

Kate said...

Both of these articles were quite interesting. The article entitled, Clive Thomson on New Literacy made several good points. We are living in a time now where social networking and communication via facebook, twitter, email etc. are a part of our everyday lives. While the writing may not be as eloquent as an essay written in a British Literature class, it still is writing. This article points out that people are writing more than they ever have before. Professor Lunsford from Stanford University did a study that "scrutinized college prose" and concluded that all the writing between people is a good thing. She found that people are writing with the audience in mind. She adds that people have never written so much as in earlier decades people only wrote for school assignments and work related assignments. Lunsford feels as though we are in the midst of a writing revolution. While I'm not sure if I agree with that, I do think it's better that people are writing more via text, email, and social networking sites. So I do not think that computers are killing literacy skills, rather they are a tool that can be used to write more. While the content of the writing may not be particularly noteworthy it still is writing.

The second article, "We Are all Writers" states that in order to become better at anything, there must be practice. Therefore the article argues that since people are practicing their writing skills using texting, facebook etc. that their skills will most likely improve compared to if they did not do this.

I think that both articles show the benefits of how using computers has in fact enhanced our writing skills. Others may disagree saying that the content of the writing is not noteworthy and more detrimental to becoming better writings. However, Professor Lunsford's data shows that computers are in fact helping literacy skills.