Muddling through the blogosphere

3Cs – Cyberethics, Cybersafety, Cybersecurity


Davina Pruitt-Mentle and Nancy Willard are leading this section on cyber awareness – which goes beyond cyber safety. PowerPoint of session will be up on NECC ning soon.

Davina: Academic Integrity/Cyber Ethics

Big disconnect between K12 arena and higher ed.

What’s the difference between academic integrity and plagiarism? Academic integrity includes plagiarism as a subset.

Traditional plagiarism includes:

  • Buying a paper from a research service of term paper mill (
  • Turning in another student’s work
  • Turning a paper a peer has written for the student….

New forms of plagiarism includes:

  • Using an electronic translator to translate your work into another language and turning it in as your own writing in a different language
  • Uisng cell phones/PDAs to text message answers back and forth, take pictures of test, archive notes/cheat sheets digitally, etc.

Statistics and Realities – From Center for Academic Integrity – Donal McCabe is a leading researcher. He reports that at least 80 percent of college students admit to cheating at least once – but colleges are reluctant to report problems of cheating, so stats are probably higher. His high school survey showed 74% of cheating on tests and written work. Almost 97% report copying homework at least once. At both the high school and college levels, few students take cheating seriously nor do they believe that their teachers really care (too much hassle, don’t care, not worth the trouble). Serious test cheating grows from 9th to 11th grade and drops off slightly in 12th grade. Students in midwest report lower levels of cheating than schools in west and northeast. Fact: students have a 99% chance of getting away with it. Over time, cheating has not increased substantially, but it’s becoming the norm. Love this student quote for one of the studies: “Except for English they [teachers] never really care.” Teacher quote: “no real consequences for students if you do turn it in.” Fuzzy AUP/SCCs are a problem, with so few having clear statement on defining cheating or consequences.

Suggestions: Students need more than just a single briefing of the AUP. Be sure to include library media specialist as a partner. Ashley Mouberry-Sieman has study online of differences between high school and college cheating:

  • Teachers can help deter academic dishonesty and promote a climate of integrity – teachers can have a huge impact!!! But they must mention the do’s and dont’s throughout the term, not just at beginning.
  • Students needs lots of examples of how to paraphrase, for instance. Assignments should scaffold to deter cheating: outlines, notes, including things from class.
  • Teachers should talk to students about how plagiarism is detected (e.g., take a sentence and pop it into Google).
  • Define what plagiarism is and isn’t.
  • Discuss as a legal issue of fair use and intellectual property.
  • Do the parent ed piece (this can be tough, as the most involved parents also tend to be the ones that push for grades).
  • Talk about the consequences, not just in school, but in the real world too (Wikipedia has tons of examples).
  • Check for Joyce Valenza’s exercises
  • Warm up snippets for students: Give them samples of student plagiarized samples.
  • Assign current and local topics (instead of women in the Civil War, describe an event from your community)

Sites for security issues:

Nancy Willard – Center for Safe and Responsible Internet Use

Digital Divide + shift to Web 2.0 > huge changes!

Why do young people make poor decisions:

  • Brain development – frontal cortex undergoing development. Teen process emotions in “fright or flight” portion of brain
  • Disinhibition – you can’t see me; I can’t see you. Lack of tangible feedback about consequences interferes with empathy and ability to make good choices
  • Exploration of Identity and Emerging Sexuality – Trying to win the who’s hot contest
  • Online social norms – life online is just a game
  • Social manipulation – providing a gift, seeking commitment, creating attractive image, establishing authority, encouraging group allegiance
  • Youth risk online must be viewed from perspective of adolescent risk – they’re on risk online – and in real life:
    • vulnerable emotionally
    • less resilient in getting out of a difficult situation

Approaches that are not working:

  • installing filtering software
  • fear-based tactics – teens who meet with sexual predators do so intentionally, knowing they are adults and intending to engage in sex. “Tiny tip of the tail wagging the Internet safety procedures.”
  • misleading use of data
  • reliance on filtering – won’t effectively block “porn traps” because traps generally link to newer sites- here’s a sound bit from Nancy on the topic of filtering by school districts – ws1139401
  • simplistic rules – hey, “just say no” didn’t work with drugs…Teens and tweens need strategies. Unfortunately, most at-risk kids don’t have good relationships with their parents. We need to educate kids – and adults
  • avoiding uncomfortable information – shortcoming of is absence of word “sex” anywhere in the training. Adults must open the lines of communication about risky online sexual concerns.
  • considering all young people victims

How do we do this cybers afety thing better?

  • all use should be in a controlled environment
    • book-marked sites
    • closely controlled communications
    • close supervision
  • key safety rules
    • if something “yucky” appears, turn off the screen and tell an adult. Kids and teachers need to know what to do
    • do not go outside the safe sites without permission
    • do not type your name, address, or phone number online or send a picture of yourself
    • ask kids to bring in terms of use of their favorite sites
  • Ethical decision-making
    • is this kind and respectful to others?
    • what would my mom, dad, or other respected individual think?
    • would it be ok if I did this in the real world?
    • how does what I do online reflect on me?
  • Problem: people who understand risk, often don’t understand technology; people who understand technology often don’t understand risk. The path to bring everyone to the table is cyberbullying – and don’t adopt anything that looks like the D.A.R.E. program. We need to bring in peer leadership too!
  • School counselors have children reporting concerns. They need access to the sites in question! Every administrator needs immediate ability to bypass filters! Many librarians and teachers are trying to teach students about inappropriate sites, but can’t override filters.


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