Re: NANFA-- "Hot" Topic - requests for information

unclescott (
Sat, 7 Feb 2004 14:30:33 -0600

> Do teachers even send kids to the library anymore?

Sure! That's where the computers are. ;)

I would always march my students through sections of the stacks relevant to
the project before going to the computers. Training them to ask the right
questions or seek the correct key words is essential whether on-line or on
the computer with the library listings or in an index of a book.

Often (as with our famous world cultures feast or "eating your way through
geography") would start them with a four page framework of what we were
doing. They would have to provide proper bibliographic data (whether from a
magazine, book or Net site), documentation of where the dish was really
from, preparation, ingredients and so on. Not a hard assignment, but they
had to prove any claims they made.

I would sic them on the cookbooks by way of preparation. Malcontents were
sent to the computers. They usually were back in the books in a few minutes

> When I was in school (in prehistoric times), it was a question of
plagiarism .

Remember the old saw:

If you copy one source, your are a plagiarist.

If you copy two sources, it's research.

If you copy a whole bunch of sources, you are a professor.

>If you hand wrote an exact statement without quotes and attribution. Then,
> became an issue if "Xeroxed" pages were stapled together for a report,
> proper attribution. Now it is a question of cutting and pasting
> electronically and publishing as your own, without references.

Yeah. Once got a typed out paper on Abraham Lincoln. When the class was
dismissed I ambled across the hall to the library, picked up the L volume of
the World Book Encyclopedia and found the Lincoln entry. Told the kid it
would have been easier to photocopy the article for a zero.

One came in with an extra credit assignment. It still had the organization
and highlights of a Net article and the address on the bottom of the sheet.
I think she knew she was out of luck when the teacher started guffawing so
badly he had to wipe his eyes.

My party line was that it initially is ok not to know something. What is
important is what you do about it.

I'm retired from formal teaching (until I get a better offer). One thing I
wish I had had time for was a unit on determining the reliability and
truthfulness of Internet sites.

I have sent them to some of the Internet Hoax sites.

Nostalgically yours,

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