As I mentioned the other day, the internet has completely changed the way that students do school. With these changes brings the possibility for students to face ethical issues, more specifically with cheating. It’s much easier to copy & paste text from a website than rewrite a passage from the encyclopedia, and students have access to a lot more information than they have before.
This being the case, it’s really important for teachers to demonstrate honesty and correct use of technology in the classroom. ISTE NETS Standard 4 says that:
Teachers understand local and global societal issues and responsibilities in an evolving digital culture and exhibit legal and ethical behavior in their professional practices. Teachers:
a) advocate, model, and teach safe, legal, and ethical use of digital information and technology, including respect for copyright, intellectual property, and the appropriate documentation of sources.
One interesting set of statistics that I found included information that “35% of students admitted to using their cell phones to cheat” and “52% admitted to some form of cheating involving the internet.”
Aside from the fact that students are cheating by using technology, there is also the possibility that they are not being taught HOW to use it correctly. Teachers and other adults should be showing students the proper way to use technology as well as give credit in order to prevent plagiarism. “When students see adults using technologies inappropriately, they can assume it is the norm. This leads to inappropriate technology behavior on the part of students.” In order for students to understand their “digital responsibility,” they need to be taught the right way.
I see this as a vital part of the social studies classroom. By the time students reach their high school career, they should be familiar with the concept of citing their references and giving credit for their work, but it’s also a time where they have an increased amount of schoolwork. If students see these ideas modeled by their teachers, it will make a difference. (Although it may not always seem that way, we can always hope that students will remember that their teachers stressed giving credit for work that they borrow!)
The attached document is a handout that talks about digital citizenship and cheating.
Digital Citizenship and Cheating
Cheating Goes Hi-Tech. Retrieved from: http://commonsensemedia.org/cheating-goes-hi-tech
 Ribble, M., Bailey, G., & Ross, T. Digital Citizenship: Addressing Appropriate Technology Behavior. Learning & Leading with Technology, 32(1), 6-11.