'Glastonbury festival, cat hat, and the long lived Nokia 3310'

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

How my thoughts stand in the GR8 DEB8 so far...

So to start developing my blog I have spent a bit of time this evening Googling 'the impact txting can have on people's learning'. I have been looking particularly at the impact on the learning and writing skills of school children. 


I came across an interesting poll by 'Edutopia' who asked 'Does text messaging harm students' writing skills?' The results were as followed:


Yes. I believe students are carrying over the writing habits they pick up through text messaging into school assignments. - 54%


Maybe. Although text messaging may have some impact on how students write, I don't think it's a significant problem - 18%


No. I believe students can write one way to their friends and another way in class. They can keep the two methods separate. - 25%


None of the above. - 3%


The poll can be viewed here


I have reflected on how I would vote on this poll and I have actually found it quite hard to decide on a firm answer so I feel I would have to vote for 'None of the above'. 


My reasons for this decision are based on my personal experiences at school. When I was around the age of 15 I would think I was the 'bees knees' if I txted my friends using 'Txt language'. For example I would txt my best friend something along the lines of: 
                'Alrite hun. U k? Wuu2? Ly x'
This would translate as me basically asking how my friend was and what they were up to, before ending it with the abbreviation for 'love you'. This language was completely normal for my friendship group and practically became the cool thing to do! 


However, I would never use this lingo in any of my school text books and I would be aware of this at all times. For me there was almost an unconscious mechanism which was in place and meant that I would not psychically be able to use txt language in any of my work. 
Txt language was for mates (or m8s as my 15 year old self would say) and grammatically correct language was for school. 


You may be wondering why I wouldn't just decide to vote for the 'No. I believe students can write one way to their friends and another way in class. They can keep the two methods separate.' option on the poll, but I can take into account that other students may not be able to keep txt language out of their school work. 


A short article from the BBC gives an example of how a student used txt language within a written exam. The 13 year old student provided the following extract which I can only guess describes their summer holiday:
"My smmr hols wr CWOT. B4, we used 2go2 NY 2C my bro, his GF & thr 3 :- kids FTF. ILNY, it's a gr8 plc."
I would take a guess and translate this as 'My summer holidays were ??. Before, we used to go to New York to see my brother, his girlfriend and their three kid. I love New York, it's a great place.' If anyone feels they can translate this further then please leave a comment!!


Learning and writing skills are very individulised so therefore I can appreciate that txt language has had an significant impact on some student's skills but not so much on other students such as myself. If txt language was not invented as such, then how well would the above student have done in their exam I wonder. 


I hope that as I develop this blog further, I will be able to come to more of a conclusion about what impact txt language can have on learning. I would like to be in a position to say that I would vote for either the YES or NO answer on the poll, instead of not being confident enough to settle for one side of the argument and instead float around in the middle of the debate. 


Watch this space :)


Image source: rosipaw

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