The previous video was made as part of an assignment to address the issue of plagiarism.  Throughout this assignment I found myself in a tug-a-war between the teacher perspective, taking a necessary stand against cheating, and the student perspective, the frustrating second guessing in order to avoid unintentional plagiarism.

I suppose that my perspective as a student is based on my values, which were established in me through my environment and moral compass.  When it comes to cheating, I don’t look at it as an option.  I’m not afraid of the consequences of getting caught because it never really crosses my mind to cheat in the first place.  Even in the high stakes of “No Child Left Behind” and how the student performance directly  affects my teacher rating, I have not considered trying to taint the results.  However, not all students think alike so I understand that protecting against plagiarism is very important, though it may be tedious at times.

As a teacher, my view point is also skewed by my environment.  Mostly I have worked with students in upper elementary and middle school and who are English language learners.  Many of these students really struggle in developing their own voice for written expression.  Due to this, I have intentionally tried to develop the assignments which make it very difficult for students to simply copy text, and yet the assignments usually aren’t very deep. None the less, I have those students that attempt to copy something and turn it in as their own.  It irks me to see this, but fortunately it doesn’t take me that long to spot it.  Most of the time I have no trouble accusing them of turning something in that they didn’t write, but I do have to proceed with caution by giving them options to re-do the assignment.

I find some of the statements about plagiarism to be threatening to my good intentions, especially when it comes to the ambiguous wording.  Statements such as “rewording the author content” is very confusing to me.  Obviously when I do research, I will read someone’s writing in order to collect enough information to give an account of the matter.  Once I began to piece my words together, I have to be careful that it doesn’t say too much of what the author has written.  I suppose I could just cite his or her work, as long as I don’t use too much of what the author has said.  I do recall in college, while taking a news media class, the professor showed us how to use the news feeds that came from the Associated Press.  Our job was to reword the news story so that it could be considered our own and presented as a radio news broadcast.  I don’t recall any references or citation required for this assignment.

I expect that over the next 2 years I will be researching and writing papers related to the field of education, especially educational technology.  I welcome the challenge to sharpen my writing skills and even my research skills.  With the help of useful internet technologies, citations will be much easier than previously, so I hope that lack of citation will be a non-issue for me.