Neither Al Gore nor the US Military invented The Internet to make a teacher’s job harder. Nor is The Internet part of a conspiracy to dumb our students down.

Sometimes we as educators opt to eliminate technology instead of modeling selection processes for or with our students. And that isn’t helping the teachers or the students.

Repeat after me: The Internet is not my enemy.The Internet is not your Enemy

What behaviors do you want to avoid?

Cheating is the typical fear educators express about introducing The Internet into their classroom. Worries might include:

  • Plagiarism
  • Answer Sharing
  • Chatting online
Repeat after me: The Internet can help me.

Is The Internet introducing those behaviors?

Remember some of these behaviors predate and/or exist independently of The Internet. Sometimes the fear is not so much of the behavior itself, as fearing the behavior is more transparent due to The Internet.

Does The Internet accelerate those behaviors?

The Internet can make exchanging of papers easier, faster. The Internet can create a marketplace outside of our prior understanding of where these transactions occur.

However, The Internet also offers us solutions to some of these problems. Some of these problems not even created by The Internet might be solved by using The Internet.

Can The Internet solve those issues?

Plagiarism checkers such as TurnItIn and Grammarly can aid teachers in an otherwise daunting task of identifying plagiarism.

Your online teaching practices, such as requiring text box submissions over Google Doc or Word Processing document submissions can also make sharing of submissions at least more work and maybe more unlikely.

Your assessments can improve as well; consider altering questions to more (text + you) versus find/memorize these facts. Questions where students apply their lives to answers are less likely to be copied as they would be more obvious. In a related post I mention “teacher presence through structure” consider using Discussion Boards as assessment versus just flat papers submitted.

Browser lock-downs are an option for high-stakes assessments. But using technology tools to address issues created by technology leaves out the human element of thinking our way out of a problem.

Repeat after me: The Internet can help me.