Categorized | Features

Plaigarism, Cheating, Stealing

by Dalton Lafferty, Technology Manager

It takes an incredibly long time to create a published work. From a scholarly essay to photo galleries publishing those for the world to see is an amazing feeling. Being recognized for your hard work is an indescribable, but with technology advancing it is easier than ever to copy someone’s work and make it seem like it’s your own.Technology is playing an increasingly large role in daily life. From posting on various social medias to getting instant news updates, technology is changing how society functions. Although great, technology does have its drawbacks, one of which directly involving students. More and more students are utilizing technology to cheating the classroom, and making the distinction between what is right and what is wrong is becoming more difficult.

Cheating can happen any number of ways. Merriam-Webster’s online dictionary defines cheating as “practic[ing] fraud or trickery.” Basically, cheating is taking something that isn’t yours and using it like or saying it’s yours.

Mrs. Riggan, faculty adviser to the Honor Council, a student organization that discusses cheating and the consequences thereof within the school, says “I doubt there is a teacher who hasn’t had any cheating incidents.” This sad yet true statement is a testament to the ease of cheating in today’s time. “[Technology] makes it easier to cheat but also easier to catch, usually,” Riggan says. If a student plagiarized information from an online source, it is just as easy for a teacher to find the same information online. Students, however, are having a harder time finding where the line is between plagiarizing and taking advantage of accessible information. The internet is full of vast amounts of information, so stealing information “is less ‘personal,’ which may make it easier psychologically for some students to do as well,” says Riggan. Teachers also have a difficult job in determining the consequences for cheating. Riggan says there are many factors to consider, such as “to what degree was it intentional? Was it the first time? Maybe it shouldn’t matter, but I also tend to consider whether it was a consequential assignment or test or whether or not the student is remorseful?” Although cheating digitally is easy to do, it and traditional cheating should be viewed as the same action. If students don’t see them as one and the same, “I think they are fooling themselves,” Riggan says.

There is a vast amount of information readily available for students online. Responsibly using this information will ensure not only make work is credible, but that you are a credible student. Be sure you give proper credit where credit is due, and do not cheat, because the consequences far outweigh anything that could be gained. There are tools online to help give proper credit, such as EasyBib and the app RefMe. Take advantage of both the information and tools available to give credit to those who deserve it.

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