The Day the Paper and Pencils Quit (Grammarly Guest Post by Nikolas Baron)

grammarlyHelp me welcome Nikolas Baron, with Grammarly: The World’s Best Grammar Checker. I don’t know about you, but when I write I’m always having a silent discussion with the grammar police.

“Is that right?”
“No, you’re over thinking it.”
“You know it’s right.”
“No, that’s wrong.”
“It’s got to be wrong.”

Wouldn’t it be nice if we had ONE location to search (or copy and paste) in order to get our answer? Maybe Grammarly is that place?

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With technological advancements moving almost as fast as the speed of light, I wouldn’t be surprised if one day in the near future, paper and pencils simply stomp their feet in protest of their under-usage and quit altogether. Will our children’s education be the same without the good old tools we used back in the day?

For the past year, I’ve been working at Grammarly, an intuitive language processing start up, researching on various online and offline tools available to enhance the entire writing experience. In recent years, new technology and proofreading software specifically targeted to master the art of the English language have been popping up like mushrooms. Education is being redefined in a completely different way, and let me tell you that this change has to be embraced fully because it’s clearly here to stay.

Here are some amazing tools you can use to give your child the neural stimulation they need without the use of paper and pencils.

Learning Alphabets

– As a start, if you’re still sitting on the fence about using technology when your child can barely recognize alphabets, you can start with a tried-and-tested technique – shaving foam. Simply spread some shaving cream onto the tabletop or a tray and allow your child to experience the sensation before attempting handwriting exercises. Write different alphabets and allow them to observe and imitate. This hands-on activity is a perfect way to induce some fun into learning.

– An application on the iPad you can start off with is Squiggles. Squiggles is suited for young toddlers who haven’t yet learned how to form letters. The idea behind Squiggles is that every doodle they make can become something significant. Hitting the “GO!” icon turns their page of nonsensical scribbles into something significant, such as rocket exhausts, planets around the moon, clouds, and more. Simply put, Squiggles teaches kids that every thing they draw can signify many different things. This is fundamental in drawing the link between alphabets and words.

– The Little Writer application on the iPad is another perfect tool for beginners. This tracing app includes upper and lowercase letters, shapes, and numbers for your little one to follow.

Reading

– The best way to induce the joy of reading in young children is to read to them daily. There are many online resources such as MagicKeys.com that provide free e-books for beginner reading levels. Bring as much energy and personality into the characters as you read to your child to engage them in the story.

– To personalize your own stories for your kids, technology such as Microsoft PowerPoint and Keynote can help to bring stories alive with pictures, animations, and sound effects. Children can also write their own stories and enhance it with these presentation platforms.

Writing

– When children are ready to express themselves through writing, there are many tools to give them inspiration beyond the usual boring manuscripts. One such program to expose children to different forms of writing is Toondoo.com, where kids can produce their own self-written comic strips and select a wide selection of cartoons and characters to complement their stories. Besides comics, other websites emphasize on other writing mediums, from poetry to lyrics. Creativity is key in encouraging children to enjoy the process of writing.

– And of course, there’s Grammarly, which can act as their personal grammar coach correcting and giving detailed explanations of why certain grammatical errors are wrong. Grammarly provides that 24-7 support needed for self-sufficient learning. This interactive method of using their writing to learn grammar breaks the rigidity of the language and brings back a renewed excitement in every text.

Education has evolved beyond the use of the traditional paper and pencil. Getting your child comfortable with different mediums from a young age will open up their world to endless enjoyment when it comes to learning. Try out these resources and let us know how it helped your child.

By Nikolas Baron

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Nikolas Baron

 

Nikolas Baron

Nikolas discovered his love for the written word in Elementary School, where he started spending his afternoons sprawled across the living room floor devouring one Marc Brown children’s novel after the other and writing short stories about daring pirate adventures. After acquiring some experience in various marketing, business development, and hiring roles at internet startups in a few different countries, he decided to re-unite his professional life with his childhood passions by joining Grammarly’s marketing team in San Francisco. He has the pleasure of being tasked with talking to writers, bloggers, teachers, and others about how they use Grammarly’s online proofreading application to improve their writing. His free time is spent biking, traveling, and reading.

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