Wednesday, May 29, 2019

The Ethics of Making Copies of "View Only" Google Docs

Last week I published a blog post about how to make copies of Google Documents that are shared as "view only." In that same post I included a video on how to find public Google Documents. That post raised a good question from a reader who asked about the ethics of making copies documents that are shared as "view only." I shared my thoughts on that question in the following short video.

For those who can't watch the video or don't want to, the short version is that I think it's fine to make a copy provided that you don't then try to pass-off the work or a derivative of it as your own. Of course, if the person who published the document has disabled the option to make a copy of the document then copying and pasting the text would be unethical too.

How to Use the Google Dictionary Chrome Extension

The Google Dictionary Chrome extension is a handy little tool that lets you highlight a word on any webpage to quickly find a definition and hear a pronunciation of that word. Google Dictionary isn't the only Chrome extension that has this capability, but it is the only one that Google itself offers. In the following video I demonstrate how easy it is to install and use the Google Dictionary Chrome extension.

Using this extension is different than simply highlighting a word and conducting a Google search in a new tab. The difference is that the extension puts the word's definition on the same page that it appears on. It's a slightly faster process that is less prone to students getting distracted by looking at a search results page in a separate tab.

Applications for Education
The Google Dictionary Chrome extension could be a good tool for students to use when they come across words that are unfamiliar to them. The option to hear the word read aloud can help students recall its meaning and pronunciation more quickly the next time that they see it.

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