from the yet-again dept
In 2003, there was a study that showed that all this writing online was actually making kids more comfortable with writing in general. In 2004, a study showed (like this one) that with a little instruction kids easily understood the difference between texting and writing. In 2005, a study actually found that kids were better writers than in the past "using far more complex sentence structures, a wider vocabulary and a more accurate use of capital letters, punctuation and spelling" even if they sometimes let a txtism into their writing. And, in 2006, a study showed that students showed no ill effects from widespread text and IM messaging. In other words, this story is getting plenty of attention, but the details don't support the headline version that kids are unable to understand what's appropriate in their writing.
Also, one other interesting finding came out of this study: despite the fact that kids sometimes seem attached to their computers, two-thirds actually prefer to write assignments by hand. So, perhaps that'll put to rest that other circulating myth that kids aren't able to write by hand any more.