Benefits of Blogging Via eSchoolNews

Today, I picked up this article in a twit from Bud the Teacher. The article unveils different results of a study done by Pew Internet and American Life Project and examines the the positive ways that blogging helps students perceive themselves and the importance of writing. The article includes a lot of interesting statistics on teen writing. I found this passage most interesting:

Teen bloggers, however, write more frequently both online and offline, the study says.

Forty-seven percent of teen bloggers write outside of school for personal reasons several times a week or more, compared with 33 percent of teens without blogs. Sixty-five percent of teen bloggers believe that writing is essential to later success in life; 53 percent of non-bloggers say the same thing.

Bradley A. Hammer, who teaches in Duke University's writing program, says the kind of writing students do on blogs and other digital formats actually can be better than the writing style they learn in school, because it is better suited to true intellectual pursuit than is SAT-style writing.

"In real ways, blogging and other forms of virtual debate actually foster the very types of intellectual exchange, analysis, and argumentative writing that universities value," he wrote in an op-ed piece last August.

I'm not sure if and how my student writing changes when blogged. I know it increases opportunity for sharing/discussion, but I'm wondering how the writing differs. Anyone have any thoughts on this? Do your students blog, and if so, what type of writing are they doing?

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