…a couple of Web log related issues that are cropping up now that we’re making more and more of them here.
Plagiarism–Web logs potentially add a whole new headache to the plagiarism problem. Now that I have 40 or so journalism Web logs online from previous classes, I wonder if my current journalists are accessing content from those and turning it into their own. Not that I have any reason to suspect this, mind you, but it would be pretty easy since a) the curriculum is basically the same and b) I don’t have the time to check to see if, for instance, they are coming up with story ideas from someone else’s list. The answer of course is to take down old Web logs. But something in me is resistant to that. (Maybe it’s just a proud father problem…) Bottom line is that now that student work is up for everyone to see, you can bet some will attempt to use it as their own. Something else I’m going to have to think through.
A parent called me yesterday and wanted to know why her son was failing my class. Basically, I told her it was because he wasn’t doing his work. I ended up sending her links to the class homepage, the homework page, and to her son’s Web log so she could see all that was missing. “His what?” she asked. Hmmmm…I’m wondering how much my kids talk about this stuff at home, if at all. One thing I know I have to prep for next quarter, which starts the second week of April, is a letter home giving them some background on Web logs, making sure they know their child will have one, and asking for permission for students to publish to the Web. (If they deny permission, I’ll make the site editor’s only.) I’m also going to see if I can persuade one or two of them to set up RSS Web logs of their own so they can keep track of their child’s progress and get class and homework feeds. (This will necessitate starting a separate Web log for homework…) Experimentation is such fun…and work!