Its a Friday afternoon and the school is just about empty except for a few sport teams and one or two other teachers. I am trying to finish some grading so that I do not have to lug a bunch of papers home and back again. I am still annoyed that I assigned so much paper anyways … “one more year” I tell myself knowing that next year my mixed 9th/10th grade students will have have iPads as part of our phasing in process to go 1:1 iPads. “One more year and then paperless, or at least less paper”.
As I am grading my students answers from a set or review questions I start to notice trends in the wrong answers – the same ones keep coming up … why? What made them put that answer?? I look back through all of my handouts, links, videos and some from other Living Environment teacher’s … nothing. This is a common review sheet that we had all used and the questions are about as low level as you can get. Another teacher is there and she also has similar type answers. We started searching together.
“Wait they just copied it from Google” my colleague responded.
At first I was mad, why would my students cheat? Had I not instilled the value of doing one’s own work. But is it cheating or is it what we all do, when we need a basic question answered? I know I do it. Why shouldn’t they? They are simply using the tools at their disposal.
I have to do better, my questions should be at a level where a Google search doesn’t just give them an answer. Or if I have an assignment like that – I shouldn’t use it to assess their learning from it. So its a chance to grow as an educator – anything that easily accessible isn’t really stretching them. It isn’t educating them. It certainly isn’t causing growth an inspiration.
Its time to do better.