Plagiarism and Academic Integrity in Today’s World

I feel strongly that, in today’s world, students need to develop the knowledge, skills and behaviors that will help them to be model digital citizens. While I like to think that it’s black and white, I’m learning that it’s much more complicated than that. Our school librarians have been working on organizing the American Association of School Librarians Standards for the 21st Century Learner so that we can use them throughout the high school. Below are several of the benchmarks that are related to academic integrity.

  • Understand what constitutes plagiarism and refrain from representing others’ work as their own.
  • Demonstrate understanding of intellectual property rights by giving credit for all quotes, and by citing them properly in notes and bibliography.
  • Abide by copyright guidelines for use of materials not in public domain.
  • Legally obtain, store, and disseminate text, data, images, or sounds.
  • Abide by the Acceptable Use Policy in all respects and use Internet responsibly and safely.
  • Explain First Amendment rights and the process available to defend them.
  • Demonstrate understanding of intellectual freedom and First Amendment rights.
  • Demonstrate understanding for the process of copyrighting their own work.
  • Analyze the consequences and costs of unethical use of information and communication technology (for example, hacking, spamming, consumer fraud, virus setting, intrusion); identify ways of addressing those risks.

OK, these seem to make sense and, after all, they are designed with the 21st century student in mind. Wait,  before you decide, take a look at this documentary, entitled RIP! A Remix Manifesto. (it’s 85 minutes long, but it is worth the time).

What do you think now? Funny that the 21st century standards don’t even mention Creative Commons. If you want to explore the topic more, check out the Everything is a Remix site.

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