This past week I had a grade level meeting with some of the 9th grade core teachers. During the discussion, one teacher mentioned that she was not too keen on electronic submission or typed versions of anything. She said that it opens the door for plagiarism. Everything in her classroom should be written by hand, and done in class if possible. She teaches science.

I can agree with this to a certain extent. If I have students do an assignment electronically, I open the door up for them to forward / text the answers or the work to others in the class. To counter that, I just need to require them to cite sources where applicable. I can tap into sources such as Turnitin.com, which is very helpful (yes, I’ve used it even in math classes).

Since I teach math, I feel more and more that I help kids with problem-solving. The last two years when I’ve gone through PEMDAS (order of operations: parenthesis, exponents, multiplication, etc) I’ve explained that it’s unlikely they’ll use this 20 years from now. However I’ve explained that it’s about procedure or directions. I gave them a map of my college campus and told them to navigate from point A to point B. So when I look at infusing technology into my classroom, I’m going to try to aim for that bigger- picture-more-authentic-assessment sort of lesson. About a week ago I went through how to use parts of MS Excel. The authentic-assessment there was to find miles per gallon, cost per mile, etc. based on some gas data I had recorded. And here’s the key: I gave little direction on how to find these items.

Plagiarism is always been an issue. I made it through middle school copying the math answers from my friends….or was that high school? Honestly both.

Plagiarism has always existed and I would say if you giving students the type of assignments that can be plagiarized them they are the wrong kind of assignments.

Things have changes…we can’t ask students to do the same kind of problems they did before the Interent existed. That’s where I think all this is headed. In new ways to do new things to where these old world issues don’t exist.