Copy cats

I have had quite a few recent encounters with plagarism, students simply copying information from the internet and pasting it as their own work. We have all seen this before. The interesting thing about these recent cases is that it is work students are doing for themselves, it is not required by the teacher but for self-study purposes. The students (of varying ages including adults) are really only fooling themselves. Or are they? That is the real question. Do they think that copying  a text is genuine research, that they are actually learning from the procedure, that finding a story online and posting it as their own helps their writing? The answer seems obvious, but is it? Although the end result is cut and paste, by searching the net, perhaps reading lots as a result of that research, have students learned in a different way? Have they been exposed to “real-world” language and perhaps from that experience learned, not what the teacher or materials writer intended, but something more genuine? Questions and the answers are possibly complicated, just as the digital world is much more complex than simply learning how to use a mouse. A lot for teachers and students to still learn and indeed teach in order to use the new technologies most effectively. Here is an article from The New York Times on digital literacy http://tinyurl.com/243eeg8. El País last weekend also had a special supplement reporting on technology in classrooms, although to my mind it didn’t really delve into the real issues, hovering instead over familiar territory and presumptions http://tinyurl.com/33db7xu.

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One Response to Copy cats

  1. Enda Scott says:

    Carol Read (link on right under blogroll) has just posted an interesting summary of IT experiences in the classroom and some lessons to be learned from them
    Enda

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