Do Not Be a Mindless Robot
I use the Grammarly Chrome extension to help me use more commas. Ha, that is what it feels like. Grammarly checks my spelling and grammar, it’s awesome. It always suggests I need more commas. Obviously, I blog and tweet a lot so Grammarly is a big help to this math major! However, it’s not perfect. It gives me suggestions but I still have to decide if they are correct for my context.
Do Not Fight Technology
Technology should absolutely change what we do. We should shift how we teach things to live in a world where technology is a reality. The tech is not going to go away, it’s only going to get better. If you find your lesson or activity made obsolete by technology advancements, don’t get upset, change the lesson. “Alice, how do I stop spell check?” Seriously? Like spell check is not going to be available to our students in their everyday life. Why would we want to avoid such a ubiquitous technology? Spell check is proof that your spelling tests are obsolete. Check out Pernille Ripps spelling blog post. Check out Shaelynn Farnsworth blog post on vocab test alternatives.
Analyze over Memorize
While blogging “Just because you can doesn’t mean you should” Grammarly suggested I change “doesn’t” to “don’t.” I didn’t think it was incorrect and just to check I asked on Twitter. Others confirmed for me, I should NOT replace the word to “don’t.” (Issue is the need for a comma not for a word change.)
So robots are not taking over our thinking and causing us to drool on ourselves. Just because a tool suggests something doesn’t mean it is correct. You want proof of that, use Google Maps. When trying to find my hotel the other day it showed the hotel was IN the on-ramp to the freeway. Clearly, that could not be correct. Against my better judgement, I followed the turn by directions. While I was cursing Google Maps since I was now trapped on the freeway for 2 miles, really I should be cursing myself because I let robots think for me. I knew it wasn’t right when I saw it.
Google Translate, you can totally tell that language wasn’t created by a student. It stinks of Google Translate. That doesn’t mean the student should not use it. “We do not fight technology.” It’s an opportunity to analyze. “What is wrong with this?” is higher critical thinking than “what is the answer?” Have students use Flipgrid to record conversations in the language. Change the lesson plan.