Came across this today…figured it would make a good quick hit:

UWM: Social Media Helps Teach Better College Writing

Social media permeates our culture, including so much of the writing that students do in their daily lives. Using this writing in the composition classroom makes learning relevant and practical for students. Turning this writing into a reflective process helps them become more critical thinkers, thoughtful readers, and capable writers in all contexts, digital and non-digital.

Indeed. Social media writing is writing. Different, yes, but this article about a PhD candidate’s work on using social media writing to help teach academic writing confirmed something I’ve been wondering about for years: People are reading and writing a lot, even if that reading and writing differs from traditional reading (books) and writing (papers). Text messages take time to write; the nature of putting short messages on a small phone screen could mean changing one’s style. It does for me, anyway. What and how I write changes with the medium.* Yet that doesn’t mean one cannot express complex thoughts in social media. I’m happy to see teachers and researchers are noticing this. It can help connect inside- and outside-school writing.


*Once again, see Marshall McLuhan’s book The Medium is the Massage. (Yes, that’s the punning title).