This is an article from the New York Times, about how teachers are starting to see instant-messaging chat-speak show up in papers and essays. Frankly, I'm glad to see that some teachers are turning this into a positive teaching situation, but I totally agree that they should put their foot down on the boundaries. Communication is all important, and you gott abe able to not only do it, but to know when to use what forms.
Incidently, if you do not have an account at the NYT site, it'll ask you to sign up first. It's free, and I have never gotten spam from them...not once. Just lettin' you know.