There is a panel here at the Ypulse mashup of teenage entrepreneurs including Aseem Badshah, creator of Scriptovia.com. Scriptovia is an amazing website for sharing school papers and essays. During the panel I asked the following question: “What do you tell to teachers who are worried about kids using your site for plagiarism?”
His response was quite interesting. He first started talking about reassuring the teachers that they are working with turnitin.com and other anti-plagiarism sites, but then he started going on the offensive. He put a challenge out there for teachers: “We need to teach kids how to cite sources before fourth grade.” He said that most students are not trying to cheat; they just don’t know what qualifies as plagiarism. He also calls into the question the line between plagiarism and collaboration. We need to explain, expand, and explore this line.
Where is this line for you?
Should we respond to his challenge?
Clearly, this man is going to be a star. We need to watch his projects because he is going to move the debate, whether we are with him or not.
At the Mashup: I agree. This kid is amazing and the site is really interesting. If my kid is articulate as Aseem, I will have done my job! But I also thing he brings up a really valid point. I think kids need to know more how to be detectives today to screen information and synthesize than in years past. Copying is wrong, but bringing ideas to the next level might actually involve what some “old school” teachers consider to be plagarism. If you look at what’s happening at TED.com, it’s all about repurposing ideas to solve new problems.
With Scriptovia.com, the upside is sharing ideas that spark creativity!
Thanks for the comment. I am interested in hearing your ideas on TED and your interest in Ypulse. What do you think that it means to copy? How do you think we can get all of our kids to be as creative and visionary as Aseem? (Or, is this possible?)
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