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Children Using Technology Have Better Literacy Skills

timothy posted more than 4 years ago | from the exactly-as-useful-as-other-self-assessments dept.

Education 146

eldavojohn writes "A UK study of three thousand children aged nine to sixteen suggests something that may not come as a shock to geeks: using technology increases a child's core literary skills. As Researcher Obvious put it, 'The more forms of communications children use the stronger their core literary skills.' And for those of us worried about a world of 'tl;dr' and 'Y U H8n?' the research claims that 'text speech' does not damage literacy. The biggest shortcoming of this research is that it appears the children graded their own writing in that their methodology was an online survey designed to ask the children which technology they use and then follow up with asking them how well they write to determine which children have better literacy skills."

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146 comments

Huge Fail (3, Interesting)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 4 years ago | (#30317272)

I can say I'm amazing at intercourse, but it doesn't make it so.

Obligatory "The Office" line... (1)

gregarican (694358) | more than 4 years ago | (#30317318)

...that's what she said.

ACHTUNG -=:.x\.:[ Third -=- Post ]:./x.:=- ACHTUNG (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30317952)

I wholeheartedly made the effort to get into third place today. It appears that my dreams have become reality. Thus, in the way that I have made this tertiary post, I have divined myself beyond a modest man's wildest dreams and into the oblivion of happiness.

Re:Huge Fail (4, Insightful)

schon (31600) | more than 4 years ago | (#30317322)

Tell me about it.. a self-selecting group of people grade themselves? How on earth is that scientific?

Re:Huge Fail (2, Informative)

NeutronCowboy (896098) | more than 4 years ago | (#30317530)

Beats me. Especially in light of the fact that people who are bad at something completely overestimate their skill-level. This data is complete junk. Nevertheless, I fully expect it to be repeated ad nauseam all over the place.

Time for a car analogy (1)

Capt.DrumkenBum (1173011) | more than 4 years ago | (#30317910)

I have found that the worst drivers I know, always seem to believe that they are fantastic drivers, and that all the collisions they get into are all other peoples fault.

Re:Huge Fail (1)

Nit Picker (9292) | more than 4 years ago | (#30317592)

Exactly.

Besides the fact that people who feel their writing is good are more likely to write, somewhere I have read a research study showing that poor students are likely to overrate their mastery of a subject whereas good students are more likely to underrate their ability.

Re:Huge Fail (1)

rumith (983060) | more than 4 years ago | (#30317792)

If most members of that group assign similar grades to their peers, that could mean in the light of this study that some of that "c u l8r" stuff can more or less informative to them, and that - shock! - people can be worse or better at using this newspeak, if I may say so. This is the valuable result of this study, not the actual ratings. In other words, we have just discovered that this newspeak is an actual language, which also has more and less skilled users, and that the quality of their newspeak skills doesn't necessarily correlate with their English skills.

Re:Huge Fail (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30318918)

Hahahaha - oh wait, you were serious? It's an abbreviated form of English. It's not a new language any more than Morse Code or court stenography is a "new language."

Re:Huge Fail (2, Insightful)

blahplusplus (757119) | more than 4 years ago | (#30317938)

"Tell me about it.. a self-selecting group of people grade themselves? How on earth is that scientific?"

Happens all the time, it's called peer review.

Re:Huge Fail (1)

ToasterMonkey (467067) | more than 4 years ago | (#30318630)

Happens all the time, it's called peer review.

Am I missing the sarcasm here? A non-specific group of kids graded themselves, not each other.

Re:Huge Fail (1)

steelfood (895457) | more than 4 years ago | (#30318144)

If your questions get progressively difficult to comprehend, then it's a pretty sure bet that the more questions return answered, the higher the literacy. And instead of making it a multiple-choice, the survey questions may ask for answers in actual sentences. This would test the ability to read and write (at worst, the written answer can be analyzed and given a grade).

Not that that's what they were doing, but it's one method at least.

Re:Huge Fail (1)

Majik Sheff (930627) | more than 4 years ago | (#30318900)

They're right, text speech doesn't degrade literary skills... it's an indicator of deep-seated brain damage. They had cause and effect reversed.

Re:Huge Fail (1)

John Hasler (414242) | more than 4 years ago | (#30319038)

> They're right, text speech doesn't degrade literary skills... it's an
> indicator of deep-seated brain damage.

Others are using "fail" as a noun and abusing the word "huge".

Re:Huge Fail (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30319498)

yeah and they're even highlighting flaws in the system too!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0keVkmnIsZE&feature=related

Re:Huge Fail (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30317378)

Yeah, more like children using technology have bigger egos. Just look at the butchery of the English language on social networking sites.
Americans and Brits are particularly good at doing that to their own mother tongue, maybe because they don't have to think twice when using it.

They're = There = Their
You're = Your

Disgusting.

Re:Huge Fail (1)

Paeva (1176857) | more than 4 years ago | (#30318508)

In other news, an online survey shows that Slashdot users are smarter, better looking, and less likely to live in their parents' basements.

Re:Huge Fail (1)

linhares (1241614) | more than 4 years ago | (#30319214)

I made sex and I can prove it, for I kept the receipt.

Re:Huge Fail (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30319598)

Sorry, can't resist:

I had sex and I can prove it, for I kept the receipt.

There, fixed that for you.

Re:Huge Fail (2, Interesting)

YayaY (837729) | more than 4 years ago | (#30319434)

Dunning-Kruger effect :

The Dunning–Kruger effect is a cognitive bias in which "people reach erroneous conclusions and make unfortunate choices but their incompetence robs them of the metacognitive ability to realize it". The unskilled therefore suffer from illusory superiority, rating their own ability as above average, much higher than actuality; by contrast the highly skilled underrate their abilities, suffering from illusory inferiority. This leads to a perverse result where less competent people will rate their own ability higher than more competent people. It also explains why actual competence may weaken self-confidence because competent individuals falsely assume that others have an equivalent understanding. "Thus, the miscalibration of the incompetent stems from an error about the self, whereas the miscalibration of the highly competent stems from an error about others."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dunning%E2%80%93Kruger_effect [wikipedia.org]

Seriously? (1)

bsDaemon (87307) | more than 4 years ago | (#30317316)

If I were to ask people what kind of technology they use and then ask them how well they hold their liquor, without testing the second half, then I haven't really done any research at all, have I? No. This could just as easily have said "children who use technology tend to think they're way smarter than everyone else." It may turn out to be true, but that doesn't mean the research is actually valid. Just sayin'.

Re:Seriously? (3, Interesting)

war4peace (1628283) | more than 4 years ago | (#30317864)

...furthermore, if the survey was something like this:
"Do you enjoy writing? Click on the appropriate checkmark: [ ]Yes | [ ]No"
then all I can say is... "d00d, wtf".
I self-taught to be so attentive when writing and always try to be as exact as possible (although English is not my native language). It's a matter of pride, I confess, but it helped me a lot in the past. My native language contains special characters (îâ) which are used by maybe 1-2% of people while writing on the Internet, mainly because localized keyboards are hard to find and unappealing to most. Even I don't use a localized keyboard but use the OS-defined layout for my native language as default. learning it was pretty difficult, because back when I made contact with computers localization was unavailable. So after years of using English alphabet it was a pain to switch. Nevertheless, I pulled it off and now I'm proficient (albeit not very fast) in writing correctly in both English and my native language.
Why do I say that here? Well, I'm having difficulties understanding what some people write to me; they're using mangled words, numbers instead of letters, and even if in most mild cases of language mutilation I can get what they mean, the more extreme cases leave me perplexed. "I dn knw i r b @ hom 2morw" made no sense to me until properly translated :) - and most of that... can I say "crap"? comes from teenagers. Amazingly enough, this metalanguage has no secrets to them, but my petty attempts to understand them and respond back to them in the same style only amuses them.
So please allow me to say that I seriously doubt this "study".

Re:Seriously? (3, Funny)

Madsy (1049678) | more than 4 years ago | (#30319246)

Incidentally, you have a number in your handle. I assume 4 is suppose to mean 'for'? :-)

Waste of time. (1)

Capt.DrumkenBum (1173011) | more than 4 years ago | (#30317980)

Everyone already knows that Linux users hold their liquor better than anyone else. I bet it has something to do with all that free beer I keep hearing about.

One result they didn't include... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30317358)

Childrren who used Facebook and MySpace were actually dumber for it.

you know... (5, Insightful)

nomadic (141991) | more than 4 years ago | (#30317360)

There is also a correlation between wealth and access to technology. And a correlation between wealth and literacy.

Re:you know... (3, Informative)

msauve (701917) | more than 4 years ago | (#30317388)

...and a correlation between the sunrise and the morning paper.

Re:you know... (4, Funny)

chromas (1085949) | more than 4 years ago | (#30317618)

The correlation is almost nobody sees either of those, anymore.

Re:you know... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30317922)

I suggest subscribing to Financial Times in the UK.

I get my morning paper raspingly shoved through the letterbox every morning at 2AM.

Re:you know... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30319094)

+4 Informative? Should be -1 Troll or perhaps funny. Children who grow up in a wealthy household and neighborhood are more likely to have access to better schools and technology. A school's budgets is mostly determined by the local area's property tax income (google: "how schools are funded in {state}"), ergo wealthy neighborhoods usually means a good school, and its pretty obvious why wealthy kids have access to technology--that shit costs money. GP makes a perfectly valid point and your ignorant little joke about correlation and causation takes away from the terrible reality of the US education system. If it was politics, I would let your comment slide, but education hits too close to home. Our system of education favors the rich and the white, and that is a fact. (PS: I grew up in an upper-middle class neighborhood, and I'm as white as the driven snow).

To sum up, wealthy family / neighborhood --> wealthy school --> better education (higher literacy rate). Wealthy family --> technology (gadgets, computers, etc) --> increased literacy? Maybe. I agree with TFA about how technology might increase literacy, but the study is scientifically bogus and won't lead anyone to any true conclusions. My guess is that good (read: wealthy) schools can afford to use more technology than bad (poor) schools, and this use of tech is just one small factor in the increased literacy of wealthy schools over poor schools.

Read this: Let America Be America Again [americanpoems.com]

Re:you know... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30319390)

You're describing causality, not correlation.

If I'm not mistaken, the OP was humorously pointing out the error of implying that "correlations" are meaningful, not claiming there was no causality.

BTW, it's my opinion that parental involvement has much more of an effect than the "wealth" of the school (at the K12 level).

Well, and don't *you* know... (2, Informative)

Estanislao Martnez (203477) | more than 4 years ago | (#30319594)

There is also a correlation between wealth and access to technology. And a correlation between wealth and literacy.

There are statistical techniques to analyze the contribution of multiple variables to a result, and social scientists routinely use these techniques to control for confounding factors like wealth.

For example, a typical study on something racism will claim something like, say, that after controlling for wealth and education, black people get worse deals on mortages; that is, the study will use statistical techniques to isolate the contribution of the three variables (race, wealth and education). A typical dumbass that doesn't like the conclusion of the study, however, will claim that the study is invalid because blacks are poorer and less educated than whites, and poorer people get worse mortgage deals. Which is, of course, a strawman, because the statistical techniques used in these studies are normally designed to compare people who have similar wealth and education but different race.

I certainly can't vouch for the study that's mentioned in this article, but I somehow doubt that you're any more ready to vouch against it.

Correlation is not causation (5, Insightful)

ShanghaiBill (739463) | more than 4 years ago | (#30317362)

From the summary: using technology increases a child's core literary skills

Neither the BBC article nor the researchers make this claim. They just say that it is correlated with better literacy.

Re:Correlation is not causation (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30317456)

I was wondering when you "correlation does not imply causation" faggots would step in and point out the obvious.

Of the 15 posts currently up, this will be the first one to NOT point that out!

Re:Correlation is not causation (1)

SanityInAnarchy (655584) | more than 4 years ago | (#30318176)

Not to feed the trolls or anything, but this isn't just pointless flamebait (what does correlation have to do with sexual orientation?), it's demonstrably wrong.

This is, in fact, one of two posts I see which make that point. Most of the others are complaining about the fact that the results are self-selected.

Re:Correlation is not causation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30317552)

Neither the BBC article nor the researchers make this claim.

You should really try reading the BBC article entitled "Children who use technology are 'better writers'" with the first words being:

Children who blog, text or use social networking websites have better writing skills than those who do not, according to the National Literacy Trust.

Re:Correlation is not causation (1)

Beardo the Bearded (321478) | more than 4 years ago | (#30317960)

That was my thought when I read the title on RSS -- are they conflating correlation and causation again?

I would suggest that if you've got a lot of technology at your house (in my case, the computers outnumber the people) then you have a fair bit of extra cash on hand. That probably means that you've got a well-paying job, not two or three low-end jobs. That means you're home more often and spend more time with your kids and thus encourage them to read.

I know a guy my age who learned Japanese just to be able to play imported games and watch anime. A kid I know was motivated to read so he could follow along the Final Fantasy plotlines.

Re:Correlation is not causation (1)

noidentity (188756) | more than 4 years ago | (#30319682)

From the summary: using technology increases a child's core literary skills

Neither the BBC article nor the researchers make this claim. They just say that it is correlated with better literacy.

Don't blame the summarizer for not having access to technology as a child, and thus lacking literacy skills.

Online Survey? (5, Interesting)

MozeeToby (1163751) | more than 4 years ago | (#30317396)

An online survey isn't science, (If you're using these numbers to do anything important, you're insane). The summary itself exposes the falacy right out ("...may not come as a shock to geeks"). The geeks are the ones more likely to be filling out an online survey in the first place. Not to mention the obvious class differences between those who have ready access to lots of technology vs those who don't and what that implies about their neighborhoods and schools. There's all kinds of variables that arent being controlled for.

Re:Online Survey? (1)

interkin3tic (1469267) | more than 4 years ago | (#30318720)

An online survey isn't science, (If you're using these numbers to do anything important, you're insane)

What "important" things could one even do if these results WERE valid? Pass legislation reguarding education and literacy? From what I can see, using flawed studies is pretty much par for the course in how we set some of our policies.

That whole "prayer in school" thing for example. Things like this [answers.com] are apperantly convincing to some people.

Re:Online Survey? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30318776)

/. proves this. How can they omit the cowboy neal option?

More specific theory... (1)

Pollux (102520) | more than 4 years ago | (#30319258)

From the article...

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.

I believe that a lower number of children feel good or very good about their writing, because w/o an online audience, their only likely critic would be their school teacher. Teachers are more likely to be critical of writing, with the hope that their constructive criticism encourages students to correct mistakes to improve writing skills.

On the other hand, bloggers are more likely to get critiqued by their peers. Peer reviews are much more likely to be positive in nature (with likely comments including "LOL" and "dudz ur sooooooooooooooooooooo funy"), with few to no comments involving constructive criticism.

As such, those who are reviewed by teachers get less positive feedback, leading them to feel less confident about their writing skills, and those who are reviewed online by peers get much more (though empty) positive feedback, inflating their self-esteem and making them feel more confident about their writing.

But in no way, shape, or form, does this survey (anyone who tries to call this a "study" needs to go to college to learn what a real study looks like) prove that kids + technology = better writing.

Re:Online Survey? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30319674)

I can think of one case when an online survey got published; someone did a survey of people dissociative disorders via a dissociative disorders support forum. They collected some (relatively) absurd number of responses, which gave them excellent subjective data. Of course, this survey is still bullshit, but, hey, valid data can be gotten!

Re:Online Survey? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30319844)

The geeks are the ones more likely to be filling out an online survey in the first place.

I don't know, all those dame MyFace users might have the geeks beat for filling out inane online surveys.

I'm surprised by this (5, Funny)

L3370 (1421413) | more than 4 years ago | (#30317416)

rofl omg i been usin tech 4 a looooooong time since i wuz a kid now i read good but my boss tellz me not to send emails and memos nemore cuz no1 can read em lol!!!1

Re:I'm surprised by this (3, Interesting)

Red Flayer (890720) | more than 4 years ago | (#30317588)

rofl omg i been usin tech 4 a looooooong time since i wuz a kid now i read good but my boss tellz me not to send emails and memos nemore cuz no1 can read em lol!!!1

You laugh, but *I'm* the one stuck writing all the memos for admin, HR, and accounting... because out of those who speak English well, I'm the only damn person who can write.

Last week HR submitted a trouble ticket for me to write the invitation to the office holiday party... and I'm not even part of IT! The IT head printed out the ticket and brought it to my office. We laughed, but deep down inside, I wanted to cry.

Re:I'm surprised by this (1)

nomadic (141991) | more than 4 years ago | (#30317766)

Last week HR submitted a trouble ticket for me to write the invitation to the office holiday party... and I'm not even part of IT! The IT head printed out the ticket and brought it to my office. We laughed, but deep down inside, I wanted to cry.

Have some mercy on those IT guys. Have you ever seen them try to write? It's like a train wreck.

Re:I'm surprised by this (1)

snspdaarf (1314399) | more than 4 years ago | (#30317844)

At least they are smart enough to know they can't communicate in writing. I used to be at a company that, while not putting out the company newsletter in 1337, would crank it out full of spelling and grammar errors. It made one cringe to know customers were reading this thing and judging the people at the company from it.

Re:I'm surprised by this (1)

tool462 (677306) | more than 4 years ago | (#30318000)

At least they are smart enough to know they can't communicate in writing.

Too bad they're too stupid to realize they can do something about it.

Re:I'm surprised by this (1)

L3370 (1421413) | more than 4 years ago | (#30318294)

I feel your pain. I've had multiple superiors that I would write emails and memos for because I was so embarrased by the comments that were sent down IT's way. I'm no grammar expert, but I would at least make an attempt to proof the messages. That was an easier option than re-convincing my customers I am competent at my job.

OMG yes! (4, Funny)

lymond01 (314120) | more than 4 years ago | (#30317426)

I no. this story iz so tru. i c ug apps 4 my college that luk lik this. way smart

Re:OMG yes! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30317666)

Why do I rage when I see this? I can literally feel my blood pressure skyrocketing. My wife gets texts like these from her coworker and I just think "she couldn't possibly make herself look more retarded".

Re:OMG yes! (1)

SnarfQuest (469614) | more than 4 years ago | (#30317674)

Ewe hav too bee more better 2 mak it n2 colege. Eye have scene some badder righting coming from gooder students, but they are soon made sum more better aftre reeding my righing. I'11 tech ur kids howl 2 bee the goodest. U'll see.
Sighned: Pubic Skool Teecher.

Re:OMG yes! (1)

RightwingNutjob (1302813) | more than 4 years ago | (#30319442)

You're missing the point, friend. Like the red square on a white canvas, it's art, not stupidity. These kids should be given the highest philological scholarship available at your institution, so that they may perfect their craft.

Re:OMG yes! (1)

lymond01 (314120) | more than 4 years ago | (#30319550)

You're right. Eventually, teen texting will be the equivalent of 2 years of secretarial school and Gregg shorthand classes. People will be able to take dictation with their phone.

Zero value study (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30317442)

This is not merely a shortcoming, it is a devastating hole that renders the study utterly useless. This has to be about the dumbest survey I've ever heard of. No conclusions can be drawn from a self-assessment of ones own ability. Other research has shown a correlation between lack of ability and overestimation of ability in self-assessment.

Re:Zero value study (2, Funny)

Daimanta (1140543) | more than 4 years ago | (#30317670)

"Other research has shown a correlation between lack of ability and overestimation of ability in self-assessment."

True, we call them managers.

Re:Zero value study (1)

Endo13 (1000782) | more than 4 years ago | (#30317682)

No conclusions can be drawn from a self-assessment of ones own ability.

Sure there can. After reading the article, I have drawn the conclusion that the participants in the survey consider themselves more literate than they are.

Re:Zero value study (1)

ToasterMonkey (467067) | more than 4 years ago | (#30318800)

Sure there can. After reading the article, I have drawn the conclusion that the participants in the survey consider themselves more literate than they are.

No, you don't know how literate they actually are.

This is like asking people what kind of shoes they own, and how fast they think they can run, then concluding that people who own running shoes run faster than those who don't.

So you know some people consider themselves to be better at something than others, and that is hardly original.

Re:Zero value study (5, Funny)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 4 years ago | (#30317812)

Other research has shown a correlation between lack of ability and overestimation of ability in self-assessment.

Though for completeness sake, it should be mentioned that those studies showed that correlation by asking the participants how much they had overestimated their own abilities.

Re:Zero value study (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30317920)

"Other research has shown a correlation between lack of ability and overestimation of ability in self-assessment."

You mean like slashdot? /ducks

Re:Zero value study (1)

tool462 (677306) | more than 4 years ago | (#30318054)

You can draw information from self-assessment, just not the information they were trying to get here.

For instance, the interesting study that found that 67% of people think they are above average.

Re:Zero value study (1)

evanbd (210358) | more than 4 years ago | (#30318248)

Other research has shown a correlation between lack of ability and overestimation of ability in self-assessment.

Unskilled and unaware [apa.org] (pdf) is one such study. Very interesting stuff.

so... (5, Insightful)

penguinbroker (1000903) | more than 4 years ago | (#30317498)

The biggest shortcoming of this research is that it appears the children graded their own writing in that their methodology was an online survey designed to ask the children which technology they use and then follow up with asking them how well they write to determine which children have better literacy skills

So, really, the only conclusion we can draw from this is that 'the more technology one uses, the better they think their literacy is." Great.

I'm not surprised (2)

pwnies (1034518) | more than 4 years ago | (#30317500)

I've noticed that since being online my spelling has improved tremendously. As a kid growing up I always had much difficulty with spelling/grammar, but in a world of red squiggly lines misspelled words become hard to ignore. I know most people say that spell check ruins people's ability to spell, however I'd argue the opposite.

Re:I'm not surprised (1)

log1385 (1199377) | more than 4 years ago | (#30317606)

<quote>I've noticed that since being online my spelling has improved tremendously. As a kid growing up I always had much difficulty with spelling/grammar, but in a world of red squiggly lines misspelled words become hard to ignore. I know most people say that spell check ruins people's ability to spell, however I'd argue the opposite.</quote>

I think that's only partially true. I can't tell you how many times per day I see someone type "loose" instead of "lose", or misuse "to" and "too". Basic things like that slip through spell checks all the time, and I'm always seeing otherwise literature people misusing words like that.

Re:I'm not surprised (3, Insightful)

Labcoat Samurai (1517479) | more than 4 years ago | (#30317988)

Basic things like that slip through spell checks all the time, and I'm always seeing otherwise literature people misusing words like that.

self-referential?

more practice = improved literacy = technology (2, Interesting)

peter303 (12292) | more than 4 years ago | (#30317570)

I had a period of time between school and the rise of blogging where I didn't write as much. And I guess my writing skills languished. I think they've improved now. I probably dont write long essays or papers as well because I haven't been doing that in a long time.

From The Country That (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30317586)

has created the most colonial disasters in the world: Israel, India, Pakistan, Hong Kong, Australia, United States, Afghanistan, Iraq, and
so on and so forth.

Yours In Yasnogorsk,
Kilgore Trout

Dunning-Krueger effect (2, Interesting)

ArbitraryDescriptor (1257752) | more than 4 years ago | (#30317686)

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.

It is baffling as to why anyone even bothered running this survey. Even if we assume that these kids are not intentionally lying, studies have shown that people generally tend to rate themselves as above average. To paraphrase these studies:

Idiots do not realize they are stupid. (If you don't know there are 2 homophones of "there," then you won't know if you're using it wrong.)
Exceptionally intelligent types underestimate how much smarter they are than Joe-average ("I can't be the only one who thought that was easy")
And Joe-average tends to think he's Joe-average+1. (No one wants to be average.)

Re:Dunning-Krueger effect (1)

ArbitraryDescriptor (1257752) | more than 4 years ago | (#30317720)

Idiots do not realize they are stupid. (If you don't know there are 2 homophones of "there," then you won't know if you're using it wrong.)

Example 2: If you do not know how to spell "Kruger," you will not realize you've misspelled it until you post your comment and see the one right above yours with the correct spelling.

Re:Dunning-Krueger effect (1)

Labcoat Samurai (1517479) | more than 4 years ago | (#30317820)

Aha! Thank you. This was what I was trying to come up with. If only I had hit refresh an extra time rather than posting down below.

Stupid people don't know that they're stupid (1)

Labcoat Samurai (1517479) | more than 4 years ago | (#30317692)

I can't seem to come up with the name for the effect (named for the researchers who observed it), but I'm fairly sure there's research out there that suggests that people who have great confidence in their performance on cognitive tests disproportionately tend to have scored poorly. In short, stupid people don't know that they're stupid.

Corelation is not causation. (1)

wonkavader (605434) | more than 4 years ago | (#30317818)

Kids can afford to use different media because thier parents can afford it.

To some extent, wealth is correlated with education.

Certainly the most obvious causal factor for language skills is the amount of language skills their parents exhibit. Those are correlated with both education and wealth.

It may not be the toys, but the parents.

Phonetically similar words (3, Insightful)

s-whs (959229) | more than 4 years ago | (#30317830)

using technology increases a child's core literary skills. As Researcher Obvious put it, 'The more forms of communications children use the stronger their core literary skills.' And for those of us worried about a world of 'tl;dr' and 'Y U H8n?'

I don't know about literary skills, but I see an abundance of wrong spellings of words that don't have the right meaning but phonetically are almost the same. An example is 'of' instead of 'have'. E.g. someone may write "he would of done this" instead of "he would have done this". Probably caused by trying to write too fast and not thinking about what they wrote, and that's a phenomenon that I've only seen the last 4 years or so (I think I first spotted this in a subtitle for Torchwood. I almost couldn't believe my eyes, that such a mistake was made by the BBC). If that time estimate is correct for when this sort of thing started, then possibly technology, or probably better the entire lifestyle (fast paced, short attention span, exacerbated by TV's ads that interrupt programs) in the west these days, may be the cause of this.

Re:Phonetically similar words (1)

Tacvek (948259) | more than 4 years ago | (#30319616)

"would of", "Could of", "should of", etc derive from contractions of the form "would've", "could've", "should've". Those exist only in extremely informal speech, and virtually never in writing of any kind. However it is particularly common in America for children to hear these contractions as two separate words, and they incorporate them into their speech as such. When they go to write it down, they write is as "would of", and they don't see the problem. If they correctly wrote "would've" they might see the issue, and realize that they should write would have. This is not an issue related to spell checking, as this problem long predated spell checking over here in America.

From your surprise about this issue, I'm guessing this is not found in England. My guess is those contractions are never used over there even in really informal speech. Since you are talking about closed captions (American term for subtitles for the hearing impaired, as opposed to translation subtitles) I'm betting the BBC contracted an American company to write the closed captions.

Examples: (1)

itedo (845220) | more than 4 years ago | (#30318066)

Automatic spell-checking does not add to literacy skills. I've never heard of a nine year old kid that has said something like "Wow, I just learned (from MS Word) that SOSAGE is spelled SAUSAGE correctly. " Of course, all the emoticons like "^^ :-) :o T.T" do not improve their literacy skills either.

If you write blogs about "stoopid school" and "teechers sucks a$$", this won't improve your literacy skills. If you write something like this "lfg 2dd +tank UBRS rly fast run gogo" - not improving anything...

Most kids copy and paste their homework from Wikipedia. They don't even bother to improve themselves. "New Technology" makes them really dependable.

BBC Quote: "They see enormous advantages in the relationship between teacher and child. Sometimes the computer is closer to the child than the teacher by the age of 13."
-> The computer is closer to the child than the parents. Side effect of our time. Don't wonder, if the computer/ the web programmes the child and not vice versa.

Giving back to /. (1)

DingoTango (623217) | more than 4 years ago | (#30318230)

http://www.starfall.com/ [starfall.com] is a website that can significantly help your pre-schooler and early reader improve their literacy, based on my son's experience with it. (More self-reporting bias?) I first learned about this site on slashdot a couple of years ago, and it is so good, I want to make sure it is shared.

in other news... (2, Funny)

tinkerton (199273) | more than 4 years ago | (#30318482)

Study finds that toddlers who spend all their time on slashdot are much smarter than the average toddler. Well I knew that.

wat (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30319234)

can someone explain the article i didnt understand

Literacy does not mean anability to express... (1)

kj_kabaje (1241696) | more than 4 years ago | (#30319572)

If the authors mean by literacy the ability to read, rather than express oneself, I can see how this would be true. Technology alone, as of yet, does not have an adequate means for providing feedback on written communication. I work in part on an automated essay evaluator, and getting a computer to provide meaningful and contextualized feedback is extremely difficult.

As a teacher . . . (1)

Anonymous Poodle (15365) | more than 4 years ago | (#30319612)

Perhaps the survey should have been titled: "Those who like to write tend to be better writers."

The survey designers have put the cart before the horse. The students are not better writers because of their use of new technology, but use new technology because they are better writers and well . . . like to write.

Think about it. Have you ever met a blogger that didn't enjoy writing?

I see this all the time in my classroom. The kids who write better produce more finished copy, and write more often as well. When we type our papers in the computer lab the better writer will complete one paper in the time their neighbor (the poor writer) has typed one sentence. . . and changed the font 43 times.

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