For most media outlets that reported on an important new survey measuring the impact of technology on teens' writing skills, the big news from the survey was that emoticons and text-messaging abbreviations are creeping into students' formal writing assignments. :-(

Buried beneath the alarm of writing "purists," however, was a promising finding with equally important implications for schools: Blogging is helping many teens become more prolific writers.

The survey, conducted by the Pew Internet and American Life Project with support from the College Board and its National Commission on Writing, explores the links between the formal writing that teens do for


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