Cite sources, just like they did?

Which talk was it that Ken Robinson gave, in which he said that the age in which the highest respected profession, that of professor, is coming to an end? I remember him saying that professors tend to live inside their head and that most people do not think like professors and yet this is what we aspire to. I found this idea liberating.

This week, I read an article tweeted by Sylvia Tolisano on a related topic:

Plagiarism is Dead; Long Live the Retweet: Unpacking an Identity Crisis in Digital Content – Hybrid Pedagogy

— Silvia Tolisano (@langwitches) February 17, 2016

I made a connection to A Spider’s Web of Gullibility by fellow Coetailer Donna Frose. One of the comments to this blogpost was ‘knowledge creation and ownership is taken out of the hands of a few, and given to the many’.

Also, I read:

“Somehow the “gates” of peer review, the weighting of elite versus popular publication modes and media, and scholarly club memberships must be stripped of their power. We need more diverse books, voices, attitudes, journals, and styles.” – Hybrid Pedagogy


My son who is in grade 9 and doing the IBMYP is reminded all the time he has to cite his sources and while I was helping him with an essay I kept on thinking that although we do need to acknowledge where we get our ideas from, we should be teaching students to create more diverse books, voices, attitudes and styles. In particular, we should be teaching them how to link, because:

“Online reading is constructive and dynamic: while reading for information, clicking across and through a variety of embedded and suggested links, each reader creates a unique (and transient) new text whose reality is physical only in a “follow the clicks” sense.” – Hybrid Pedagogy

Much like we do in our Coetail posts, a student who follows this same style of writing can be showing exactly how and where he got his information in a much more accessible fashion. In a very honest and transparent way, students can potentially show us how new ideas and understandings emerged and what they are built on. What’s more, they can engage in collaborative dialogue and invite others to participate and join them in forming new understandings. This is learning.

As a teenager I remember feeling the world of academia was one I could never reach- the language used was far too inaccessible, the ideas presented often painstakingly abstract and irrelevant. My son lives in a world ‘where knowledge creation is given to the many‘. How wonderful and empowering is that?

I wish digital literacy was a real priority in all divisions of my school.

As I’m writing this a new idea emerges. Next year, when I will lead professional development on English language and literacy across the curriculum… I will try my best to include it.

What are your favourite teaching resources for blogging to learn?


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4 Responses

  1. Hi Marcelle,

    I really enjoyed reading your blog today. You brought up an interesting issue that had crossed my mind and really made me wonder about – Plagiarism.
    I remember when I began teaching – in a Secondary summer school English class – I was introduced to websites that allowed the teacher to check their student’s work for plagiarism. From what you said and what we read this week, it seems that plagiarism is carrying little importance; what was once considered taboo is slowly taking a new position in our learning.
    I really wondered how a child could go behind a game to gather necessary information in order to achieve a game goal was considered acceptable and respectable and was being passed along among their geeking communities.
    I also wonder, if learning is becoming immediate and time sensitive, how can we expect all of our research to come from information that was collected before. Such as reading an article dealing with the internet that was written a few years back is probably obsolete and we now need to be looking more towards the future rather than backwards.
    I had been researching how I can make my Twitter account more valuable to me. I found articles just a few years old guiding me to do things that are no longer possible.
    Life is changing rapidly! I am wondering how I can make this all real and useful for my little kiddos!
    Thank you for your thoughts!

  2. Hi Linda,

    Thanks for your reply. I agree with you that the world is changing rapidly- almost too much to keep up with. What I like nowadays is the focus on how we can acknowledge where we got our ideas from in a more transparent way, and make how other people influenced our ideas more visible. I do believe acknowledging others is still just as important. What are your thoughts on this?


  3. Jon Banules says:

    Hi Marcelle,

    I think your PD plan in some way sounds like it might actually be two fabulous PD courses:)

    1) Teaching teachers how to learn in the digital era!

    This would include how to use information aggregators/filters like Netvibes, Twitter, Feedly, Diigo, etc. to get and share information and apps, and how to curate this filtration for others to see, use, and add to. As a member of this course myself, I can say I did NOT start it as a tech novice. However, using the internet in these ways is an experience that many teachers in a busy homeroom (I include my previous incarnation in this bunch) have, if lucky, only had half a chance to explore.

    2) How to apply course 1 knowledge and understanding to Language Acquisition.

    Mission done (started). Connectivism online!


  4. Hi Jon, thanks for your reply. I’m so glad you saw the same, i.e. killing two birds with one stone! It’s going to be great! I’m particularly excited to see the amount of resources that are going to be generated, new insights, findings… BUT yes teachers are busy and we’ll need to find a way to make sure people are not overwhelmed from the start 🙂 I’m thinking keep it simple.. perhaps just start with the website, their blog and Twitter. What do you think?

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