Friday, December 11, 2009

Weapons of mass distraction?

The USA is a few years behind Britain with texting and the moral panics around it, but there has been a recent upsurge in reports of texting damaging literacy skills, textisms working their evil way into students' written work and suchlike. So, this article from Science Daily is a nice counter to those stories and a very helpful one to have a look at for the Language Discourses part of the A2 exam. Phones, therefore, aren't really weapons of mass distraction, more like tools of mass engagement. Or something like that...

Here's a quick snippet of what Carol L. Tilley, professor of library and information science at Illinois says about using texts and tweets in lessons:
"There's always that danger when embracing something in a school setting that you kill it for the students," Tilley said. "But helping kids understand the social and contextual role that texting plays in their lives I think is one possible justification. If there are ways educators can incorporate it in providing homework support or building dialogue out of school hours, then I think it could be a useful communications tool."