Research conducted 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.
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."
The key objectives of this survey was to explore how much young people enjoy writing, what type of writing they engage in, how good at writing they think they are, what they think about writing and what the role of technology is in young people's writing.Among the key findings:
- 56% of youth reported maintaining an active profile on a social networking site such as Facebook or Bebo, while 24% said they maintained their own blog;
- The study also found that 49% of young people believe writing is “boring.” However, 57 per cent of those who used text-based web applications such as blogs, said they enjoyed writing compared to 40 per cent who did not;
- 56% of youth who had a blog or profile on a social networking site (SNS) reported to be confident in their writing ability: 61% of bloggers and 56% of social networkers claimed to be good or very good at writing, compared to 47% of those who had neither.
- A total of 13% of children surveyed had their own website, 24% kept their own blog and 56 % had a profile on a social networking site like Facebook or Bebo;
- Social web activity was also credited with encouraging children to engage with more traditional forms of writing. Those who were active online were "significantly more likely" to write short stories, letters, song lyrics and diaries than those who had no online presence;
- The National Trust urges that kids should be encouraged to write blogs and use social networking sites like Facebook to improve literacy levels and encourage them to engage in writing.
Download the full report (pdf): Young people and writing: Attitudes, behaviour and the role of technology
View the executive summary (pdf): Young people and writing: Executive summary