Posted in 21st Century Learning, 21st Century teaching, parents and technology, spelling and editing, writing

Spell Check Your Spell Checker!

spellcheck spell checker2Spring vacations are just about finished for 2014, so now it’s time to think about staying challenged and strong for the last few months of school.

One aspect of completing a school year is to pay special attention to writing and editing while completing assignments and projects. And an important part of editing is searching for misspelled words using two steps.

In spell-check, step one, a computer program or website, runs through a person’s prose,  identifies the misspelled words, and offers the writer options for correcting, changing or leaving a word alone. These days many programs and sites spell check as a person writes, but that is no excuse for not going through the editing process.

The second, more challenging step — and perhaps the bigger responsibility — requires a writer to follow-up the spell checker, searching for errors that the automated process may have missed. Many of the remaining errors are not technically mistakes. Instead they are correctly spelled words that the writer typed by accident (or with the help of auto-word completion) or misused homonyms — accurately spelled but used incorrectly.  So the spell checker missed these words.                 Continue reading “Spell Check Your Spell Checker!”

Posted in 21st Century Learning, digital devices and gadgets, parents and technology, social networking, when kids make mistakes, when to give children email

Your Brain is the Final Spell Checker!

The process of spell checking is a two-part endeavor, and it’s an important digital world lesson for everyone — kids and adults — to master.

Part one features the work of the computer or website, as the spell check program goes to work. But after the digital spell check process a bigger responsibility lies ahead.

Each time a person writes and rewrites, he or she must spell check the spell checker — an important 21st Century skill. And while a commitment to differentiated instruction requires teachers and parents to recognize that some writers will be better at this second step than others, all students need to understand that the digital editing process cannot identify every mistake.

This poem always makes the point effectively with my students. Use it as a great conversation piece (and also to review homonyms) — over 2012 Easter and Passover dinner tables or any other time.

And if you put the words of this poem into Google search, you’ll discover that there are many other versions.

Human Brain Not Yet Obsolete

I have a spelling checker.

It came with my PC:

It plainly marked four my revue   Continue reading “Your Brain is the Final Spell Checker!”