Posted in 21st Century Learning, 21st Century parenting, 21st Century teaching, Library of Congress, parents and technology, plagiarism

Teach Digital Kids to Respect Ownership: Copyright Resource Update

copyright wordleSome time ago I chatted with a parent about the concept of copyright. Both of us were concerned that digital kids understand very little about intellectual property. The free-for-all digital information climate ensures that children have considerable ease accessing information and considerable difficulty comprehending what belongs to whom. Given this easy access parents and educators need to spend time helping children understand the basics.

Copyright laws are arcane, and even a bit crazy, but it’s critical to teach kids that protecting the intellectual property of others is a necessary 21st Century skill. With your child take the Copyright Challenge quiz at Copyright for Kids to see how much you know. When you finish the quiz check out these frequently asked questions about copyright.

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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

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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.       Continue reading “Thoughts About Plagiarism in the Digital World”

Posted in attributing sources, digital learning, digital parenting, family conversations, parents and technology, plagiarism, research on the web

In a Digital World: Always Attribute Sources! Back-to-School 2011

Old card catalog drawers at the Library of Congress

When I was in what we used to call junior high, working on my first bona-fide school research projects, mired down with things to read, and wishing to be finished, my father reminded me over and over again, “… you cannot attribute too much, only too little.” Even now, years later, with only a few words written on a page, I start thinking about Dad’s attribution credo.

Every parent of digital kids needs to share Dad’s strategy whenever children are working on school projects and papers. It is way too easy, in this age of Google, Wikipedia, and easy instant access to digitized scholarly articles, to write about another person’s ideas without giving credit.

I was reminded of my dad when I read the September 11, 2011 Washington Post Ombudsman column. In Plagiarism or Poor Attribution? Patrick B. Pexton writes about an op-ed piece on women and computer programming that appeared two weeks earlier, one that described how many woman used to be programmers. Pexton wonders if the author credited enough of her sources. Continue reading “In a Digital World: Always Attribute Sources! Back-to-School 2011”

Posted in acceptable use, Back-to-school digital reading, digital citizenship, digital parenting, parents and technology

Back-to-School Digital Reading Assignment, #2: Plagiarism

In an age of instant cut and paste, copying the words or ideas of others is easy, so today many students ignore the need to credit sources. According to an August 1, 2010, New York Times article, Plagiarism Lines Blur for Students in Digital Age, many digital natives have difficulty understanding the concepts of attribution, intellectual property, and copyright. Moreover, the article points out that, with so much public conversation and criticism about Wikipedia, many young writers believe that crediting the online encyclopedia is unnecessary.

The Times article is a helpful back-to-school read, because it clarifies a critical issue confronting students — one that affects the quality of their work. By addressing the need to cite sources and maintain personal integrity, parents provide solid support for their children, and they help children avoid problems that arise when Internet sources  in assignments without attribution. Family conversations need to occur early and often, building a child’s respect for digital citizenship.

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