Posted in 21st Century Learning, attributing sources, digital kids, digital learning, digital learning resources, parents and technology, plagiarism

Thoughts About Plagiarism in the Digital World

Designed with Wordfoto!
Designed with Wordfoto!

Originality matters when digital children write and learn, but many 21st Century students have considerable difficulty understanding what the idea of original content really means.

Check out How the Internet Affects Plagiarism at KQED Mindshift, a blog post that describes how plagiarism is evolving in today’s digital world. According to the article, students today do less looking for “unoriginal content” at sites that sell papers or other pre-written documents (compared to the past), and they use lots more content from the almost unlimited digital resources that are available on the Internet.

Mindshift’s post is based on a recently published white paper published by TurnItIn, one of the most well-known plagiarism detection software tools. The paper points out how today’s students tend to discover and share work via social media, use Wikipedia regularly, and continue to copy content from encyclopedias. Read the article for a more thorough summary.      

The Winning Poster at
The Winning Poster at

Learn more about the TurnItIn product at the company website, and there you can also check out a comprehensive list of sources that students consult when they search for material to use for papers and other academic projects. It’s possible to filter the list by level and category, and it includes ratings for authority, educational value, quality, and other content characteristics. The data include the number of hits the TurnItIn tool has identified for each site.

Check out a MediaTechParenting blog post, written for the 2010 back-to-school season, with other plagiarism resources for parents, students, and teachers, including an excellent 2010 New York Times article, Plagiarism Lines Blur for Students in Digital Age.

Recently sponsored a poster contest on the theme, “Originality Matters.” The winner and nine other finalists are posted at the website, and educators have permission to use these posters as long as they cite the URL.

The winning poster — thumbnail on the left  — was designed by Los Angeles student, Madeline Ocapo.


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