Posted: December 15, 2009
Writing reports, doing research and making presentations to classmates have long been an established ways for students to show what they have learned and to express their interests. In this era of electronic technology students have many opportunities to create and publish work in a variety of media and to have it immediately available to all through the Internet. It is also very easy for them to do the research and gather resources on any given topic. Educators have always worked hard to teach students the appropriate manner in which to make use of the research in a way that shows what they have actually learned and reflects the importance of citing sources and respecting copyright . The impact of copyright infringement is more acute these days both inside the classroom where student work can be published on school or teacher web pages and outside of school on social networking web sites. Everyone can be a publisher, it is important however to do it responsibly and honestly. This was the thrust of a presentation on plagiarism made recently to students of Harkins Middle School by Mr. Joey Savoy, one of District 16’s technology mentors. During the session it was easy to see that many of the students understood that they should respect the rights of others to retain ownership of what they have created but at the same time many were not aware of the full implications for what seemed like a perfectly innocent thing “borrowing” is to do.