Editor’s note: “On Campus” appears weekly in The Union’s Learning section, featuring the writing of western Nevada County students serving as high school correspondents.
Merriam-Webster defines “plagiarism” as the act of stealing and passing off the ideas or words of another as one’s own.
Today, this word is frequently heard around many high school campuses. Whether it is from teachers threatening punishment or a student bragging about cheating through an assignment, copying information is a relevant issue in the education of today’s teenagers.
With technology ever advancing and progressing, it is becoming easier for students to claim work for their own, cheat on tests and share answers. Technology is changing the whole scheme of education. All parties are being affected by the rapid development of new technology in today’s world.
Teachers constantly are having to check for plagiarism or cheating on tests and homework assignments. Students often have applications on their smart phones that could easily provide answers, therefore teachers must be scrupulous about in-class phone use.
Although technology seems like it might be a hassle for teachers, it is not a losing battle.
Teachers also have new ways to assign homework, present quizzes and complete projects. Many teachers have websites set up through the school. Some use them more than others, but they can be a great resource for the student to see missing work or be linked to an additional website. Teachers can also use the Internet as means for students to take timed quizzes. The downside of such accessibility is that students are often not monitored as they online tests, therefore they can be tempted to search for the answers or take the quiz with peers.
Former teacher and current vice principal at Bear River High School Cindy Harrison said “technology helps students with research for projects, as well as assisting them with preparing for the future”.
Whether they are using the abilities for positive or negative purposes is up to the student. It is becoming increasingly easy to simply type in your essay prompt, or that difficult word on your vocabulary test, into Google and get a quick answer. Smart phones allow students to have a search engine with them at all times of the day, giving them an ability to abuse this power.
“Students still try to plagiarize papers,” Harrison said. “However there are ways to find the copied material and show that it isn’t the student’s original work. Then consequences are given for the violation”.
Not all students use the Internet for “mal” purposes.
It is now easier to find information than it was in previous generations. You no longer need to go find that certain encyclopedia. You can type in your desired question and come up with an answer in less than a second. This often makes both for more thorough information and less time finding it. Projects can be of higher quality if a student can use Internet access for more ideas and information.
Technology is advancing, with or without the consent of teachers or students.
It is all about finding a balance, and time or place, for this fast-growing aspect of today’s society.
Bailey Bernier is a senior at Bear River High School.