10 Be’s: My Digital Footprint and PLN

I have read through dozens of articles, links, blogs, and articles to formulate a strategy to guide me as I grow my Personal Learning Network (PLN) and create a positive digital footprint.

Here is the direct link to Google Docs.

Periodic Table of Connectivism

My EdTech543 assignment this week certainly stretched my creativity, but since I’m a wanna-be chemist at heart, I had to try it. The assignment was to non-linguistically represent the dense concepts of connectivism, personal learning networks, and communities of practice. Here is my attempt:


RSS Feeds for Education

Gretel’s Shared Items on Google Reader

This is a link to a few educational technology RSS feeds I subscribe to and have shared publicly.

This week in EdTech 501, I explored RSS feeds in depth. This is a new tool for me, one I have not utilized much. If used effectively, Google Reader can save a lost of wasted time online by bringing the things I’m interested in to me, rather than me having to search for them. I included this reflection on our class forum, which I’ve copied below:

I was thrilled to dive in to RSS feeds for this assignment. I’ve been vaguely familiar with the term, and have subscribed to a few feeds in Google Reader, but I’ve never realized what a time-saving tool RSS can be. For so many reasons, I find myself wanting to use Google Reader more efficiently to minimize wasted time online. Teachers and students alike can benefit from using RSS feeds effectively.Teachers can use RSS feeds in a number of ways to make their classroom more efficient, and at the same time help their students gain some valuable time-management skills. Teachers can subscribe to their favorite blogs, journals, technology updates, news feeds, and any other curriculum material that will enhance the learning environment in their classroom. They can suggest curriculum-related sites for their students to subscribe to. Teachers can collaboratively make their own material available for others.Students can also benefit from RSS, such as subscribing to updates from the class blog, research forums, interest groups, clubs, and extracurricular activity pages. On a personal level, they can subscribe to friends’ blogs, receive news and sports updates, and keep abreast of anything of interest to them. Sharing feeds publicly could also be a good research activity for students on a given topic. If shown how to use Google Reader efficiently, students may find it to be a powerful tool.

Perhaps the biggest advantage of RSS, and why it is a tool worth mastering, is that it saves time. Rather than spending time surfing the Internet, wondering what’s new, hoping to stumble across pertinent information, teachers and students can have relevant information delivered directly to them through their feed reader. It is like having a personal assistant out there scouring the best of the web and delivering it right to your door.

Sounds good to me…


Plagiarism Video

This week in EdTech 501, I researched the complexities of plagiarism in a digital world. While some of the information was review, and involved common sense reasoning, much of it was new, especially self-plagiarism and patchwriting.

I then created this video using fun text-to-speech software called Xtranormal. This is a short introduction to some key elements of plagiarism: cheating, non-attribution, and patchwriting.

I mainly used three sources, as outlined below, in my research.

  • The Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (APA, 2010) proved quite insightful. From it I read that “researchers do not claim the words  and ideas of another as their own; they give credit where credit is due” and “each time you paraphrase another author…you need to credit the source in the text” (pg. 15) The “key element of this principle is that authors do not present the work of another as if it were their own work” and can extend to ideas as well (pg. 16) Self plagiarism happens when you “present your own previously published work as new scholarship (pg. 16). “The general view is that the core of the new document must constitute an original contribution to knowledge. (pg. 16)” This idea of self-plagiarism makes sense, but I have never thought of it in this way.
  • Boise State University’s Student Code of Conduct Section 18 on Academic Dishonesty is also helpful. It states, “The term ‘plagiarism’ at its most basic level means to steal someone else’s words, composition, research, and/or ideas. Plagiarism is both cheating and theft. Given the seriousness of this offense, students have a responsibility to understand its meaning and implications for the academic community. Plagiarism can be committed in any type of assignment.” Some examples listed are: quoting or paraphrasing another’s work (including ideas or research) without citation, and using the services of anyone who sells term papers or similar academic materials. Violations may result in sanctions, ranging from a warning to expulsion from the university. Plagiarism is serious.
  • Our course syllabus outlines three types of plagiarism: cheating, non-attribution, and patchwriting [I found similar material at Purdue OWL: Contextualizing Plagiarism http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/929/15/] Cheating is defined as “borrowing, purchasing, or obtaining work composed by someone else and submitting it under one’s own name.” Non-attribution is more complicated. Purdue OWL explains that it is “writing one’s own paper but including passages copied exactly from the work of another…without providing (a) footnotes, endnotes, or parenthetical notes that cite the source and (b) quotation marks or block indentation to indicate precisely what has been copied from the source.” It also states that this is often a result of a student’s inexperience (me) and not an intention to deceive. Patchwriting is a new term for me. This occurs, according to Purdue OWL, when
    “writing passages…are not copied exactly, but have been borrowed from another source.” Basically, the student uses large passages of copied text that is linked with other passages of copied text. This type of writing is often easy to spot because writing styles of copied passages vary. It occurs mainly when a student is unfamiliar with the material. I found it interesting that this tool is sometimes used in research, but should not be submitted in “final-draft academic writing.” (Purdue OWL)

This assignment is a perfect example of how BSU’s EdTech program works and why I already love it. I am given a topic to research (plagiarism), and then I get to present it using a new technology (Xtranormal). This type of approach has a double benefit and makes learning more applicable and fun. It could be better implemented by teachers and students of all ages.