Saturday, September 09, 2006

Teaching The Cut-And-Paste Generation 

No blog yesterday, as I was all blogged out from writing up an entry over at the workblog, newly resurrected for the new school year.

This week's topic, straight on the tail of a week of teacher complaints of kids parroting (or even printing) instead of just writing the sentence or two required for homework: strategies for addressing (and preempting) plagiarism, a much bigger deal in the cut-and-paste generation, and much harder for the wee ones to understand given an early lifetime of increasingly fuzzy intellectual property habits brought on by the wonderful world of technology.

Irony, of course, is that as long as we want Generation Net to learn that understanding must necessarily come before pastiche, the best strategies involve disallowing high-tech over-reliance, and requiring handwriting-to-type as a general rule when going from first draft to last. Too, as long as we're going to be making them handwrite their standardized tests, it doesn't hurt to make 'em practice, lest their hands cramp up when they're trying to beat the system. More here.

posted by boyhowdy | 10:37 PM |

The cut-and-paste mentality extends beyond the computer. I really, while I was teaching in Poland, the frustration of Polish teachers in our school about being sure that someone had simply copied an entire article from some source, yet not being able to identify it. The Internet being relatively new at that time in Polska, no one had thought of the obvious, simplest way to check: Google it.

The thing is, the students were handing in handwritten papers. They'd simply sat at a computer and copied it manually.

I had the same problem when I assigned longer writing projects.
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