Wednesday, March 26, 2008 is legal--for now

    A short blurb over at InsideHigherEd cites a recent ruling against four high schoolers arguing their rights of ownership were violated when they uploaded their papers to the antiplagiarism site.

    The blurb goes as follows:
    A federal judge has rejected a lawsuit by four high school students who claimed that Turnitin, a popular plagiarism detection service used by many schools and colleges, violated their ownership rights to their own papers. The ruling said that the box students check consenting to having their papers reviewed (and stored) makes it impossible for the students to sue. Because the students checked the box, they gave consent, even if they also stated their objections, the decision said. Further, the ruling defended the right of educational institutions to use services like Turnitin. “Schools have a right to decide how to monitor and address plagiarism in their schools and may employ companies ... to help do so,” the decision said. An appeal is expected. The decision text and a critical analysis of it appear on the blog of Eric Goldman, a law professor at Santa Clara University who has been closely watching the case.
    I have used the site extensively, catching mostly ignorance over cheating (more on this later).

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Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Monday, March 17, 2008

    Do you even know it is a language

    I was flying this morning, catching up on some back issues of Wired, when I came across this article.

    It relates the wonderful story of A M Baggs as told by herself. You see, she would be diagnosed as profoundly autistic. She talks, though, with her environment in a continual, consistent manner. Catch her manifesto of self, before Oliver Sacks writes her up.

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Tuesday, March 11, 2008

    From the disturbing Compassionate Conservative front

    It is 10:00 p.m., do you know what your teen daughter is being infected with? Chances are 1 in 4 that she already has an STD.

    The problem with religious-based domestic policy, which the founding fathers really didn't want, is that it is too often narrow minded and ineffective. By sticking to an abstinance-only policy, a whole generation of kids are not getting the knowledge they need to protect themselves.

    Rather, they are getting stuff that doesn't wash off.

    Another "mission accomplished."

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Monday, March 10, 2008

    From the Paleo-anthropology front

    Perhaps all Parisian articles are like this one, but I cracked up, literally laughing out load. It seems that while paleo-archeologist/anthroplogists are trying to decide where the Hobbit people of Indonesia fit into the family tree, one nutritional theory seems to be catching on. It seems that the Hobbit people may have been suffering from a lack of iodine, which would, it seems, account for the very same traits the paleo folks are trying to account for through evolution.

    The best part of the story, though, comes toward the end where Richard Ingham states:

    The researchers say there is anecdotal evidence from local folklore to back their claim.

    The Nage people of central Flores tell tales of ancestors called "ebu gogo" who lived in caves, were short, roughly-built, hairy, pot-bellied and stupid, who stole food, could not cook and had an imperfect language.

    "These characteristics are all consistent with ME cretinism," says the study

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Wednesday, March 05, 2008

    Call for tech-sanity

    Here is a small rant placed on InsideHigherEd today:

    Despite the seeming validity of the statement, getting an iPhone won't necessarily "seal the deal" for enrollment. One or two out of a Freshman class, maybe, but these are niche schools to begin with. If you are a Church of Christ member, depending on your degree of conservative evangelicalism, you will go to ACU (insert school of choice here) because of your desire to be around like-minded folk. ACU happens to be on the moderate end of this radical group (Pepperdine is the most liberal; Harding conservative).

    That aside, educationally I applaud this move. Where Duke was a little early (audio-based), the iphone is perfectly suited for web-based integration with BlackBoard, web-apps, etc. Instead of bemoaning the move, how about exploring the possibilities offered to address (read: be seen as relevant) the digital natives. Like the dot-coms, some ideas will fail miserably. Others (whoever heard of Google 10 years ago) may very well revolutionize.

    So, let's discuss how we can use technology to teach, eh?

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Monday, March 03, 2008

    Texas Democrats--Not a contradiction in terms

    Kinky Friedman aside, the last 14 years has been hard on Democrats in Texas. Since W became governor, Texas's persona has been hijacked and warped into a unilateral, idiotic parody of a drug-store cowboy. With swagger and little else (the lack of cattle, but having the hat), W has forced the Texas Blue into choosing a wasted vote or Nadar.

    Now, it seems that they may very well determine the Democratic nominee. So, to all my Texas friends, I say time to escape your bonds, cast your votes, and welcome back from exile.

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