Technology has been changing academia. Whether this is for the good or bad is open to debate. As anyone who reads this blog might guess, I’m a big fan of using technological innovations (internet, video, music software) to enhance and improve my teaching, but I often come across some of the darker underbelly of an over-reliance on the “bells and whistles” that online resources offer. Recently I’ve seen a couple of articles that offer some interesting food for thought on this topic. The first concerns plagiarism and the second regarding the use of posting lectures online.
The Chronicle Review, the e-journal of the Chronicle of Higher Education, published a very interesting article by “Ed Dante,” the pseudonym for a professional writer who writes for an essay mill. In The Shadow Scholar, Dante discusses how he makes his living writing papers for college students. It’s an extremely interesting read and infuriating for those of us who teach or those students who actually make an effort to learn and pay their dues. The comments are as interesting to read as the article itself.
In a somewhat related article, Inside Higher Ed discusses how videos of college lectures can go viral on the internet, often after being highly edited to present an incomplete or even intentionally misleading portrayal of the instructor. Some colleges and instructors are being more selective about policies towards their access of online course content now in response.