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While the results of this survey by the National Literacy Trust are hardly conclusive, students who engaged in higher levels of social networking tending to consider themselves better writers.

A survey of 3,001 children aged nine to 16 found that 24% had their own blog and 82% sent text messages at least once a month.

In addition 73% used instant messaging services to chat online with friends.

Of the children who neither blogged nor used social network sites, 47% rated their writing as “good” or “very good”, while 61% of the bloggers and 56% of the social networkers said the same.

The results seem to be positive, but there’s a difference between believing that you’re good at something and it actually being true (see American Idol). However, you can’t downplay the role of self-confidence and peer recognition in education. If the student believes in themself, they’ll try harder which certainly can lead to improvement.

One note. David Worthington makes a great point about this article.

I would like to see any cross tabs that detail their income levels, and whether their parents (or caregivers) were college educated. We’ve all heard about the digital divide, where lower income students lack Internet access. This could be just another example of it manifesting itself.

Very valid point. That being said, we’ve all heard wonderful anecdotal stories of the benefits of blogging and social media when used with students. It’s nice to hear the beginnings of some people attempting to quantify it. Something to keep an eye on.

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