Grade 7 Math Blogorama at Sargent Park

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Why do we use blogs?

I received a wonderful question from a teacher this past week. I dealt with the topic of plagiarism and the act of one student stealing the work of another. This fellow teacher is thinking of implementing a blog with her middle year students next year and was wondering how I dealt with students copying one another's work.

This question is something that every educator must deal with, not only in terms of blogging, as for just about any question that we pose to our students, a solution can be found on the internet and copied as their own.

The reason that I've included this post onto my blog, for all of my students to read, is that plagiarism is a topic that we have touched on in class. It is not a problem that goes away if you don't talk about it. Rather by eduacting our students on the harm of copying, and how you do not learn by simply cutting and pasting someone else's work, you instill within your students the desire to produce original work. I encourage my students to visit other websites, to read each other's solutions, but when they are solving the problem themselves, they need to solve it on their own.

Has this completely eliminated students copying eachother's work? I think that it would be foolish to expect it to have completely stopped any form of copying; but it has instilled within many of my students the view that plagiarism is wrong. Many of my students send me comments if they see that someone has copied another student's work as they truly take pride in their classroom blog. They view it as their space, and they don't want others abusing it.

Remember to take these challenges and turn them into teachable moments. Educate your students and have them take pride in their own work and this will greatly reduce the temptation to steal from one another.

Thank you for the wonderful question.

Mr. Reece


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