I recently read "Writing in the 21st Century: A report from the National Council of Teachers of English"
by NCTE Past President, Kathleen Blake Yancey. In it Yancey does a great job of looking at writing historically and framing how new forms of writing like email, text, Twitter, blogging, etc... have a place in education. She calls for educators to do three things:
Developing new models of writing
Designing a new curriculum supporting those models
Creating models for teaching that curriculum
This is a great challenge for us as educators. If we view writing as a powerful form of communication, we must begin to accept powerful tools as viable ways to write. Blogs, wikis, Twitter, and others allow our students to reach greater audiences, work collaboratively, and utilize multimedia effectively as part of written communication. We must explore these opportunities to maximize the potential of our students as writers. We must be open to changing formats of writing as well. The message must be clear for the reader to understand it, but we must make sure that our goal is to help students express their ideas clearly. How we look at conventions may need to change in order to accept this. I invite you to read Yancey's Report as well as Angela Gunn's article about it. I also invite you to comment here to participate in a continuing discussion about this issue.