A couple weeks ago I was approached by Grammarly to review their software and write about my experiences. I was given a premium account and have been using it for the last week. I haven't used every feature of the software yet, and I am approaching this review as I do everything with classroom use in mind.
I don't usually worry too much about my grammar (or spelling for that matter) because I am much more interested in getting my ideas across than I am in being perfect with grammar. To be fair, I don't like to misspell words, but when I am writing on social media I don't worry too much about it. For example, I have sworn off changing my teh's to the's on Twitter because it slows me down too much (and it makes me look a little like a digital gangster ;) The one exception is when I write comments on students' posts. Below is a series of pictures of Grammarly helping me out with a comment on a student post.
As you can see from the pictures, Grammarly was pretty useful to me. It helped me quickly identify some problems I had with my comment and suggested how to correct them with just a click. Pretty handy, eh?
There are a couple ways you can use Grammarly, the most useful is as an extension, or plug-in, on the browser. I use Chrome and the set-up was quick and easy. If you look at the picture below you can see how many errors I corrected in the last week; and to be fair, I haven't written much over that time period. I have learned a few things about my writing; the most obvious to me is that I have no idea when it is appropriate to use a semicolon.
If I were using this software with my students, I would have them write their posts and then record their errors (perhaps using a Google form) to help students identify their weaknesses. I know that for the last week I have become much more cognizant of my poor use of semicolons and I am being much more careful because of that. I can really see how beneficial that would be to them, because it has been beneficial to me.
There is a lot more to Grammarly than just things I have addressed here in the post. For more information go to http://www.grammarly.com/grammar-check to check out the other services.