To steal or not to steal, that is the question?

Image is from Copyright and Plagiarism Course available on iTunesU from NCDPI Instructional Technology(Click on the image, to the left, to be taken to Course in iTunesU)

Technology is amazing! Right at our fingertips there is so much content available to us to find and enjoy. We all (well most) agree that it is wrong to steal other people's stuff. Yet, as teacher's, student's and/or parents, we are also aware of the temptation to copy and paste some work and present it as our own, especially, when deadlines are looming and other things in life still have to be done! Most frequently, plagiarism is done with no ill intent or quite innocently by simply not quoting sources or attributing quotation marks. So how do we avoid it?


This week, in the US, a campaign to highlight the importance of originality in academic work is kicking off. Some great tips for teachers are being shared (with consent and acknowledgement) from the likes of, and to name but a few. 

You can access student posters, links, and some useful videos to share with your classes. I particularly like this one from, which tries to explain why Wikipedia is not necessarily considered a reputable source by many. The aim is to promote an understanding of why copying is considered wrong, even when it's not over the shoulder of the person beside you. 


If you are interested in getting copyright for your own material, you should check out If you submit work to them, they create an electronic serial number to prove your copyright. If you are using a mac you can download the free Widget to your desktop (although you will still need to have an account!) Download the widget here


For more information and useful links check out:


Here is a list of online websites that will assist in identifying plagiarism, and have additional support materials to help you teach your class about plagiarism: They also have an app available on Google Play (Android only) 


If you are looking for an app and are using a Mac laptop, there is an app called Novus Scan. I have yet to try this out myself as I tend to use one of the web based services. 


If you are interested in this article why not also read/watch Common Sense Media.