1. John Lawrence

    I am a Grammerly Junkie and value the importance of how the program helps to adjust my written mistakes. I often find myself re-writing my emails and changing to improve the content of the message I am sending to the faculty or parents. I agree timely feedback is crucial and can be compared to asking essential questions to improve student learning.

  2. I am very uncomfortable saying Grammarly is fixing “errors.” Some are, some are not. Many are matters of style. Sometimes, tools like this are just plain wrong (they can’t actually read and understand English).

    Several of the things you have pointed out in this article of matters of style, not “errors.” Wordy? That is up to you: your choice. It is not right or wrong. Where to put punctuation? Style.

    And there is still no computer program that can say definitively whether a human sentence is grammatical or not (and punctuation is not grammar).

    So while tools like this are useful, I am EXTREMELY hesitant for us to give them the power to say what is right and wrong in writing.

    I do like the immediate feedback idea. But, as someone with a background of studying linguistics, I don’t like a computerized style guide masquerading as the arbiter of truth.

    • George

      I think the more important idea here is that even having the program is making me think a lot more about what I write. This is a good thing, no?

  3. Tisha Mochan

    I am a 6th grade Intervention Specialist and actively teach my students to use “GradeProof” and “Writefull Thesaurus” (Google Add-Ons – FREE!) GradeProof teaches the students to pause and consider their work prior to turning it in. Writefull thesaurus gives students options to “upgrade” their vocabulary! I believe these tools are helpful to students.

  4. Hey George,
    I agree with you and Alice, the immediacy of feedback is helpful to me. Like you, I play the Grammarly game. http://www.rtschuetz.net/2016/12/grammarly-hacks-for-better-blogging.html
    I view it as a learning tool because I especially appreciate the thesaurus feature suggesting better word usage. I’m not “all in” on Gladwell’s statistics, but many people smarter than I have stated, “if you want to be a better writer, you’ve got to write more”. Yes, Grammarly picked out two errors in this comment. Room for growth, right?

  5. Kelly Sain @kjsain

    I love the grammarly game and notice my mistakes and continuously learn our complicated language. I love that the immediate feedback is given to adults and students. The tech allows us to personalize for our students.

    Thanks George!!

  6. Bianca Forrester

    Grammarly did not catch your error in your second paragraph, it should read although not all though. I am a fan of anything that gets students thinking about their process, gets them to slow down and gets them to reflect.

  7. I was lucky enough to get to use Writer’s Workbench with my students. An early text analysis program originally created by AT&T for its employees’ in-house writing, it later became an excellent product for education. In addition to spelling and grammar, it had features like sentence variety [varying sentence length, type, and structure]. I required my writers to turn in their draft with analysis plus their revisions based on feedback on sentence variety and other features. In time, even first drafts showed more attention to variety. The effect seemed to be organic and profound. I asked students to journal about the effect of WWB on their writing, and they agreed. Tools like this help us with our own metacognition and growth.

  8. Sonja French

    Tech savvy students are accustomed to immediate feedback, and I have found they prefer typed, automated corrections to my red pen because it feels more familiar to them. I think Grammarly and other similar things can be great tools for student writers!

  9. For me, it’s really about being pushed to review my writing. Too often, I want to click publish or send without really proofreading it well. By using a tool like Grammarly or the grammar checker in Word, I get pushed to re-read what I wrote to see if I agree with the suggested corrections.

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