Sunday, December 14, 2008

New Week, New Feeds

At the risk of being annoyingly redundant, I have to mention again that Free Technology for Teachers has new RSS and email feeds. I'm mentioning it again because many readers of this may not have visited since Friday and Monday is the busiest traffic day on Free Technology for Teachers.

To subscribe to the new RSS feed, please use this link.

To subscribe to the new email feed, please use this link.

As I wrote on Friday, I purchased the domain In establishing the new domain, I had to create two new feeds. The old ones may continue to work for a while, but will be phased out over the next week to ten days. You can read the full story of why I've changed feeds here. In a nutshell, I bought the domain and implemented new feeds in an effort to secure the content and protect against splogging.

Nibipedia Update - More References, More Classroom Uses

I wrote a long blog post about Nibipedia eleven days ago. In a nutshell, Nibipedia is a website that matches videos to Wikipedia entries. Since I wrote my first blog post about the service, Nibipedia has gotten a pretty sizable following among educators on Twitter. I've posted some educator comments about Nibipedia a little lower in this post.

Over the weekend Nibipedia had a "nibifest" in which some invited users nibbed videos on the site. Nibbing means to connect videos to Wikipedia entries. This evening I spoke with one of Nibipedia's founders, Troy Peterson about the weekend's activity. Troy said that Nibipedia now has over 4,000 nibs that match Wikipedia entries to videos. If you would like to try nibbing some videos please send me an email at richardbyrne at and I can give you access to start nibbing videos.

More Applications for Education
I previously wrote about how my students used Nibipedia in my class a few weeks ago. You can read the full post here. A highlight of that
experience was that one of my students thought Nibipedia was a good way for him to remember what he read and where he read it because he can remember videos easier than he can remember a search term.

These are some ideas about using Nibipedia in the classroom that Troy Peterson sent to me to share with you.

1. Independent learning: Have a student nib an "empty" video as a presentation. X points per nib.
2. Shared learning: Multiple students watch and nib the same videos. Discussion afterward. What did you learn that you didn't expect to learn?
3. Teams: While one student adds nibs, other students suggest nibs to be added. Explore how multiple people can watch the same video and all find a different Wikipedia reference of relevance. 4. Nib swapping: Two students nib related vids and watch each other's videos.
5. Troy's favorite: Get lost in the nibisphere. Roam around and let the content where it does.

Some comments about Nibipedia seen on Twitter this weekend.

Ten Resources for Preventing and Detecting Plagiarism

Plagiarism, we all hate it, but how can we teach students to avoid it and how can we detect it? Just as the Internet makes plagiarism easy, the Internet also makes detecting plagiarism and prevent plagiarism easy. What follows are ten resources for detecting plagiarism and teaching students to avoid plagiarism.

Detecting Plagiarism
1. The most obvious way to check a student's work for plagiarism is to do a quick search on Google. If you notice that a student has strung together some phrases that you don't think they've written, put the suspected phrase inside quotation marks and search. You may want to search on Google as well as on Google Scholar.

2. The Plagiarism Checker, created as a project for the University of Maryland, is an easy tool for detecting plagiarism. Simply enter a chunk of text into the search box and the Plagiarism Checker will tell you if and from where something was plagiarized.

3. Doc Cop offers a free service for checking small documents and a free service for checking documents against each other. Doc Cop also offers a fee based service that will check large documents and do a more comprehensive check than that offered for free.

4. Glatt Plagiarism service offers a simple self-detect program that you or students can use. Like the Plagiarism Checker you simply type or paste in a document to detect plagiarism.

Prevention of Plagiarism
5. The Purdue OWL website is the number one place I refer students and parents to for questions not only about Plagiarism, but for questions about all parts of the writing process.

6. FAQ's for Educators was created by four students at the University of Illinois. On this website you will find a list of lesson plans for teaching students about plagiarism. Lesson plans are available for elementary school, middle school, and high school students. In addition to lesson plans, teachers will find reference materials regarding copyright and intellectual property law.

7., produced by the same people that produce the commercial plagiarism detection software Turn It In, has a free learning center for students and teachers.'s learning center includes tips about avoiding plagiarism, definitions of plagiarism, and explanations of when you do or do not have to cite a reference.

8. offers some practical tips for students, teachers, and parents about avoiding plagiarism. also offers some tips about the research and writing process.

9 and 10. Like many universities and colleges both Northwestern University and the University of North Carolina offer student writing guides that include examples of plagiarism with explanations of why the text is considered to be plagiarized. The examples on both websites include examples that many students would not think are examples of plagiarism.

What have I missed? What are your techniques for teaching the avoidance of plagiarism? How do detect plagiarism?Please leave a comment and let us know.