Internet Solutions: 2 from Innovate

Two interesting articles from the June/July issue of Innovate: Journal of Online Education illustrate how the Internet can provide solutions to two common problems we all face: plagiarism and copyright violation.

In “Teaching Students about Plagiarism: An Internet Solution to an Internet Problem,” Eleanour Snow describes the attitude students have today toward information they retrieve from the Internet:

[T]hey do not view the Internet the same way they view a book (Townley and Parsell 2004). The Internet is somehow anonymous; there is no author, publisher, and copyright date. While they know using words from a book is wrong, they may not consider a Web site to be intellectual property (Frand 2000).

Snow describes student and faculty attitudes and responses accurately, then provides a short list of solutions using online tutorials. Snow’s own tutorial is a classy, interactive Website that provides definitions and examples of plagiarism that students can use to better understand the complex problem.

In “Creative Commons: A New Tool for Schools,” Howard Pitler compares traditional research to remixing:

[A] typical college paper is a remix of sorts; students find the best research material in their field and use that material, with proper attribution, to create a new document that expresses their view on the topic.

Pitler introduces readers to Creative Commons, a nonprofit organization that offers flexible copyright licenses for creative works” (Creative Commons). Pitler suggests that both faculty and students include a Creative Commons license on their online projects so that other viewers have “clear guidance” to “the creator’s intent.” As you will see on the site, Microsoft offers an add-in to Office that makes it easy to add such a license to your work.

Creative Commons is also useful for searching for copyright-free or copyright-friendly work in a variety of media categories, including text.

Two good suggestions here about using the Internet wisely to solve Internet problems. Have you tried any such solutions?

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Categories: technology

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