Study: Children Who Blog Or Use Facebook Have Higher Literacy Levels


A research by The National Literacy Trust on 3,001 children from England and Scotland showed that schoolchildren who blog or own social networking profiles on Facebook have higher literacy levels and greater confidence in writing.

Among the key findings were that 56 per cent of young people said they had a profile on a social networking site such as Facebook or Bebo, while 24 per cent said they had their own blog. The study also found 49 per cent of young people believe writing is “boring”. However, 57 per cent of those who used text-based web applications such as blogs, said they generally enjoyed writing compared to 40 per cent who did not.

Those who had a blog or profile on a social networking site (SNS) also appeared to be more confident in their writing ability: 61 per cent of bloggers and 56 per cent of social networkers claimed to be good or very good at writing, compared to 47 per cent of those who had neither.

Pupils who write online are more likely to write short stories, letters, song lyrics or a diary, the research revealed.

Jonathan Douglas, director of the National Literacy Trust, said: “The digital age often gets a bad press but the findings of this report demonstrate that social networking sites and blogs are linked to young people’s more positive attitudes to writing.

“Confidence and enjoyment are closely linked to the development of skills. Therefore, in order to improve standards we need to encourage children to write more and to enjoy writing, which could be supported by celebrating forms of writing they enjoy. Our research indicates that, for many, these are without doubt technology-based forms.”

However, it seems like this most parents will still continue to keep their eyes glued to their children’s Internet habits even though the research by The National Literacy Trust claimed that Facebook can help improve writing skills.

NetChildThere’s a saying, “Letting children play on the internet is just as dangerous as allowing them to roam the streets unsupervised.” Yes, the Internet is indeed a dangerous place for children to hang out in during their leisure time. The world wide web is filled with millions of unhealthy sites that contain inappropriate content. If children are exposed to these sexually explicit or violence related sites, their emotionally immature minds will be “polluted”.

A recent EU-wide study found 40 per cent of teenagers had been exposed to pornography online, 20 per cent had been bullied and 10 per cent had met someone in the real world they had ‘met’ in a chatroom or a social media site.

Even social websites such as Facebook, Twitter and Bebo are causing alarming changes in the brains of young users too, claimed neuroscientist Susan Greenfield. “My fear is that these technologies are infantilising the brain into the state of small children who are attracted by buzzing noises and bright lights, who have a small attention span and who live for the moment.”

Via Telegraph