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at right). Of course, everyone knew that it WAS an M&M, and that a mistake was made when the candy was made.  Nonetheless, I started thinking about when typos matter and when they don’t.

Our district has been implementing a writing initiative, realizing the importance of writing and communication in our students’ futures.  Personally, I would have advocated for a “communication initiative” over a writing initiative.

As many educators are seeing “texting” language crop up in assignments, some of the immediate implementations in this initiative have been to make sure that students monitor their writing for spelling errors and common grammatical errors.  While these are definitely important components of good writing, are they more important than properly conveying a message in their writing?

Furthermore, if students can use tools to correct their spelling and grammar, then are we wasting valuable classroom time focusing on these skills?

It made me think about a conversation with Dr. Theo Gray about students using Wolfram Alpha (a computational knowledge engine) to solve math and science problems.  He mentioned that it is important that students learn the fundamental concepts, but that rote skills become less important if a tool can do them for you.

Should we apply this to spelling and grammar in schools?

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