New proposals in the UK include teaching blogs and Twitter to primary school children.

The Guardian reports:

children [are] to leave primary school familiar with blogging, podcasts, Wikipedia and Twitter as sources of information and forms of communication. They must gain “fluency” in handwriting and keyboard skills, and learn how to use a spellchecker alongside how to spell.

As expected, there are a variety of views on this change, with some decrying the notion and calling for more emphasis on traditional reading and writing skills, with others pleased that modern technologies are finally being given a place in schools. But what effect will it have on language?

Personally I’d be worried about the use of spellchecking “alongside” how to spell. If a child does not know how to spell the word already, how would they select it from the options presented by a spellchecker?

Interestingly, the Telegraph reports that higher up the education scale a new Master’s degree is being offered in almost exactly the same thing. Birmingham City University is offering a new MA in Social Media which will teach how to set up blogs and consider the uses of social media (such as Twitter). Does this mean future primary school leavers will be able to skip most of their schooling and advance straight on to master’s level?