Plagiarism is Stealing and You Can Not Hide From It, the Internets Will Find You

Geez, I ignore a feed for a couple days and all hell breaks loose. This is what happens, gentle readers, when you do not pay attention to things.

The Smart Bitches, they are smart you know, have uncovered a huge plagiarism scandal by bestselling romance author Cassie Edwards. If you go to their website, you can view the serious of posts, all collated at the top of th home page, or use the handy PDF Cassie has created.

What amazes me about the entire thing is the backlash they are receiving, as if plagiarism is not a big deal. People are telling the Bitches they are “mean” for exposing Cassie Edwards. Plagiarism is stealing. Taking someone else’s words or ideas and passing them off as your own is stealing. Wikipedia has a very nice article on plagiarism.

As an educator, I spend a lot of time explaining plagiarism to students because they have often never been taught the fine line of stealing when creating academic work. That lack of knowledge has bled into all aspects of our life. As information creators, we are responsible for the words we say are our own. In an age when it is very easy to check your words against the largest database in the world, the Internet, people should never be surprised when they get caught.

I have some advice for Ms. Edwards and Signet: just admit you screwed up and make amends. Legal spin and rhetoric are not going to release you from looking like idiots, but you can avoid looking like douche bags and assholes. If you fess up and are honest, you may at least gain some respect back for being adults about your mistakes. If you choose not to, well, you may find you loose all credibility and many of your customers.

–Jane, plagiarism is no joke

Learning to Evolve, Evolving to Learn

I have had a filtering post bubbling about for awhile. I think this may be a week for griping about idiotic technology choices. Filtering and firewalls will come later. Today, I present to you, ignoring half of the argument in favor of making yourself appear right. It’s called balance; let’s find some.

One of my students in the Library 2.0 Leadership Institute I am teaching sent me a New York Times article on technology in the classroom. I hope Samuel Freedman never has to teach a group of any humans, especially a group of engaged and wired people, age not withstanding.

Mr. Freedman’s opinion piece seems to center around the vilification of the use of technology in the classroom, not by the teacher, but by the students. He completely ignores all the good uses of tech in the classroom.

What about teaming up the students so that every team has an internet enabled phone and asking which team can find a factiod on the topic you are studying or see which team can find the most recent research article on the topic. You would have students who were engaged, using the devices Mr. Freedman thinks should be banned from the classroom, and there would be learning occurring. In the same room with cell phones! *gasp*

From someone who has been known to Twitter and surf during meetings, I have a newsflash to teachers who are dismayed by distracted students.

Some of your students will always be distracted, but banning all technology from your classes is not the answer. Doing that will accomplish nothing more than alienating your students farther. We should try to engage them more and integrate the items they are already using into the class structure. If your students were actively learning, they would not need to facebook through class.

Not all multi-tasking is good, but as educators, we need to stop blaming technology and step up to the plate. Be an educator. Reach your students in new ways. Stop being afraid of technology and make it make your class better. Learn and evolve. It is what you ask your students to do everyday.

–Jane, education and collaboration go with technology like spring and flowers

Bits of the Interwebs for Hump Day

I am, as you can see below, catching up on feeds. Here are some tidbits to get you through Hump Day:

–Jane, was productive during her reference shift, much reading was done

A Loss to the Online World

Kathy Sierra was on CNN today and has a final post on her blog. I am very sad that we are losing Kathy to a handful of sick people. She has been a tremendous voice for a revolution in the way we think about the people we serve. I hope that Kathy knows that many people will miss her terribly.

Kathy, thank you for the time you gave us. Some of us are deeply grateful.

–Jane, will miss insight and funny graphics in her RSS reader

Wiley to Purchase Blackwell

Wiley is shelling out over 572 million* pounds (not like a pound of flesh, but the currency of the same title) for Blackwell Publishing. MPOW uses Blackwell for many, many of its purchasing needs. Blackwell holds our book contract and, as a subject librarian, I maintain an online profile for Approvals. It will be interesting to see how our services will change with this acquisition and how the merger will impact what we are offered and charged.

–Jane, hostile takeover

*added later, I am dumb

NPR, love it, hate it

Before I lived in Houston, I lived in Dallas for two wonderful, glorious years. I love Dallas. Better weather, colder winters, and a good NPR station. The station up there is KERA and I was in love with that station. It was on in my apartment all day every day. I knew what time of day it was by what program was on the radio. There were two stations, one with just classical (which I never listened to) and the one with all talk all the time.

Then, I moved to back Houston. I still love NPR, but only for a few hours each day. My new NPR station is under the impression that classical music is better then The Diane Rehm Show, The World, or Fresh Air. Um, no. Sometimes I want to pull my hair out. The news in the afternoon does not even start until 4 o’clock. *sigh*

A couple of days, ago I started hearing commercials on NPR for the shows mentioned above and my heart started to skip wildly. Could it be that I would finally be able to listen to these shows every day, in my car or at home? I went this morning to check out the web site, which the commercial instructed me to do. I have never been impressed with any NPR station web layout and it took me a minute or so to find the information I needed. (literally it was a minute or less – I am so impatient!)

My heart is broken and I am a little miffed. I can only listen to those beautiful shows if I have an HD radio. Which begs the question: If my local station can afford to run three simultaneous stations at the same time, (two HD stations with different content and the regular station) why can’t we just have ONE that does it all well? Or even two? One for classical and one for talk? How many people can really use this service now? Ten?

What a waste of good programming. And no I do not mean The Front Row.

–Jane, keep in mind, this is all personal preference

Farewell, Steve

My brother and I spent a lot of time watching Steve Irwin and all of his adventures. I am sad that he will no longer be able to share his love of animals with others. Many condolences to those he has left behind.

We will miss the adventure.

–Jane, crikey!