Yesterday I saw two different blog posts about the benefits of Facebook (blogs & other social media sites) for increasing student confidence when it comes to writing.
- Researchers Say the Social Web Improves Kids’ Literacy (Geeks Say ‘Duh’)
- Study: Children Who Blog Or Use Facebook Have Higher Literacy Levels
It would make sense that by writing more, they gain confidence. In many online formats, there is no fear of negative assessment or ridicule. However, students do get feedback for their writing. Anyone who has been on forums that cover passionate topics (as varied as gaming to food) will see that people respond to each other. The more passionate the topic, the more wordy and eloquent the response. If people have enough practice in this environment, they could apply the skills to education.
The second blog link above is a perfect example. TechXav is a blog kept by 14 to 15 year olds who are experts in technology and eager to share their information. There blog post was as well written as the one from ReadWriteWeb.
Neither article says whether the students are truly better writers, but when they self-evaluated themselves, they labeled themselves as good or very good writers. It is easier to make grammatical corrections than teach self-efficacy. The confidence and high self-efficacy will benefit students. Students with these traits are more willing to challenge themselves and work hard. I think this is a gr8 shift.