For my app review, I choose to use Grammarly. So basically, Grammarly is a tool that checks your spelling, grammar, and punctuation as you type. This app offers a free installation for laptops (mine’s a MacBook Pro, so I’m not too sure how it may work on PCs) and cell phones (I have an iPhone, so again, I’m not sure about Android users, etc.) or they have a premium option that the site boasts is great for work, personal, and academic uses. The premium account can be paid in monthly at $29.95 USD per month, quarterly at $59.95 USD ($19.98 per month), or annually at $139.95 USD ($11.66 per month).
While the premium seems like a great option for me while I am in classes full time, currently I am only using the free account.
Grammarly allows free users to upload documents to be checked for errors in spelling, punctuation, and grammar, so I uploaded an old high school assignment for reference.
The layout of this Grammarly service reminds me a lot of Turnitin, which many of my high school teachers used to grade essays and other typed material. This free checker picked up multiple mistakes made in my writing, the premium alert shows that there were more mistakes made beyond simple spelling and grammar. This free resource has many strengths in that it picks up on some grammar mistakes that I did not know I was making or picks up on spelling mistakes I make while typing quickly and makes these mistakes easy to view by underlining in red. The free version of this app also includes a spell checker to use in everyday work, such as this blog or my Twitter posts.
One weakness of the app that I found was that the system is based on American English, so as Canadian’s who follow the British English writing style this could cause confusion and more mistakes in writing if you were unaware of British writing rules or proper British English spelling.
As for classroom use, as a university student, I see this resource being extremely helpful when it comes to term papers, where I sometimes miss mistakes despite editing. As a classroom teacher, I think this may be a great resource for students while writing and the evaluation of their writing is based on their writing more than their grammar, spelling, etc.. I would not likely use this for students just beginning to learn proper grammar and spelling, so more than likely I would choose to use this with high school students while writing essays and papers. Personally, I see this resource to be used to minimize mistakes, not teaching grammar and spelling.
On the SAMR model, I would consider Grammarly to be used under Augmentation as it allows students to pick up errors and edit mistakes in writing that students could technically do on their own or find how to fix grammar and spelling with books and dictionaries, etc.. It also somewhat fits into the Modification stage because using this resource allows them to find grammar mistakes that they may not have been taught.
Personally, I really enjoy this tool because it is great for everyday use, especially when I am writing emails and doing other work as it catches errors I may make while I furiously type away, so I recommend the free version of this tool for everyone who regularly has to write mistake free documents!