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Writing for the Instant Messaging and Text Messaging Generation: Using New Literacies to Support Writing Instruction

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Today’s generation’s methods of reading, writing, and communicating are changing dramatically because of novel information and communication technologies, ICTs. With the evolution of social networks like Facebook and Twitter, text messaging, instant messaging, e-mails, blogs, and other websites and technologies, youth are communicating in a significantly different way than past generations. Sheelah M. Sweeny (2010) states in her article Writing for the Instant Messaging and Text Messaging Generation: Using New Literacies to Support Writing Instruction that, “Teachers may be concerned about the way some students write using these different ICTs, imagining the potential negative impact their students’ academic writing, but this interest can be an instructional advantage” (p. 121). The basis of Writing for the Instant Messaging and Text Messaging Generation: Using New Literacies to Support Writing Instruction is to provide teachers with a definition of new literacies and a rationale to introduce and use new literacies and ICTs in their classrooms.
The new-wave literacy is a much broader category than previously taught. Reading and writing were once separate subjects; now, literacy instruction consists of reading and writing, as well as listening, speaking, and viewing. Today, students are learning to convey their thoughts and meanings through not just written work, but also through music, images, audio, and video. Sweeny states that, “New literacies can transform students’ writing into unique expressions of their ideas, thoughts, critiques, and responses to literature and other curricular subjects” (p. 127). Teachers are needing to teach students how to transfer their thoughts and writing to an ICT format, as well as provide stud...


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...acies to Support Writing Instruction is a guide for teachers to incorporate new literacies into their classrooms. It outlined the differences between previous and new literacies while providing numerous online resources and teaching ideas. I believe that technology cannot replace all aspects of the classroom, and that traditional writing assignments are still needed. However, as a teacher, I know that the new technology and literacies can improve my students learning and better prepare them for after schooling. Therefore, I will incorporate both traditional and new literacies into my classroom.



Works Cited

Sweeny, S. M. (2010). Writing for the instant messaging and text messaging generation: using new
literacies to support writing instruction. Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy, 52(2), 121-130.
Retrieved February 2, 2012, from the Wilson Web database.


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