Conflicting Reports on Student Writing Quality - Better or Worse?

One of the great fears of the ubiquitous use of the Internet and texting has been that the quality of student writing will decline.  Yesterday I heard a report that college admissions officers are lamenting the current state of student writing.

At the same time, I've heard a couple of teachers declare that the general level of student writing has actually improved, often dramatically.   The explanation given has been that students are doing much more writing in general, for authentic communication, and that has improved their willingness to write and their comfort with writing as a medium.

Does anyone have experience with this on either side?  I'd also be interested if you know of any articles that discuss the same issue.  Thanks!

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Fascinating.  Hard to imagine where this is all going.  I hadn't thought about the reading aspect, so glad you've brought it up.
In my middle-school intervention reading classes I try to keep the instruction going by having the flow change every 15-20 minutes.  This keeps them engaged as I have found that if we take more than that they become distracted and off-task.  As the year progresses I try to stretch out our segments so they end up reading for longer periods - the same is true for our writing assignments.  I find that they are able to focus more as the year progresses.  Unfortunately, the summer break tends to kill any progress we have made... :(
I am currently a college student, and I find that my own writing skills have not decreased since the rise of texting and Internet use. I may be an exception to the rule, but I still find that I enjoy writing, and I am a fairly decent writer. Although I do see where you are coming from with the texting and Internet use being a hindrance to writing in general, I think that it all depends on the person. If the person wants to write and actually enjoys it, it seems that he or she tends to write better than those who dislike writing. Of course, I'm sure it does depend on increased technology use to a point, but I'm not sure that is solely to blame. I hope this helps!

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