Thursday, August 28, 2014

Thinking like a teacher

My always inspirational sister +Ashley Keene recently posted a Currently template on her blog. I,  as I customarily do, then stole her idea and tweaked it. I used the word 'stole' here flippantly, but then I started wondering - wait I minute, am I stealing - is this ethical? My sister paid for the template from a site called Teachers Pay Teachers. I liked the idea behind the template, but I wanted more mature looking graphics, if any at all, and I wanted to add additional fields. These wants/needs led me to mock up an alternative on Word. I gave credit to the original author in the footnote and linked to her site in the footnote, but is that enough?

As a former English teacher and current instructional designer I take copyright and attribution seriously, but still find myself questioning at times what constitutes an infraction?

I recently recommended the reading Lines on Plagiarism Blur for Students in Digital Age by Trip Gabriel for a First Year Experience course where I work. The article made me consider  how I would personally define plagiarism as I read the following comments from the publication which represent varying viewpoints on the topic:

“There’s no such thing as originality anyway, just authenticity.” Helene Heggman, best-selling teenage novelist
“You’re not coming up with new ideas if you’re grabbing and mixing and matching”  Sarah Wilensky,  Indiana University student 

I guess I'm just looking for answers. I am curious to know what you all think? And finally, do I now need to be including full-text citations to  blog entries every time I quote? Not gonna lie - that would kind of suck.

Now back to that template that I still can't classify as theft or not - here's my adaptation:


Even though the original template was geared toward fourth graders, why couldn't it also serve higher ed students.  I can see it used as an ice breaker and/or check-in activity given several times during a semester to keep a pulse on student interests in order to design curriculum that is student-centered.

I also love the idea of using this template as a monthly blog update. I only wish I had more readers/participants to comment and share their own monthly updates with me.

Please share your own responses in the comments section so I don't feel like I'm writing in a vacuum all the time.