Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Since When Do Lawyers and Insurance Companies Get to Run OUR Show?

In Perpetual Fear of the Sue Sue Sue

Here is a post written by Vicky Davis. She talks about how we (as teachers) are always afraid of being sued. The lawyers and administrators insist that we be 100% compliant with the legal requirements.

What do we do with 100% legal requirements when we're lucky to get 85% in
the classroom? We know how rare (100%) hundreds are in the classroom, however
the legal professionals (and our administrators) require that we are 100%
compliant and 100% perfect.

How practical is it to be 100% compliant? Can we eliminate every possible risk? No. We can minimize it but not eliminate it. Anyone with an 80% in my classroom gets told they are doing a pretty good job.

Now I think that Vicky Davis was aiming her article towards copyright infringement. Plagiarism has been a problem since the first caveman copied another caveman's paintings. Vicky didn't just moan and complain about the problem she offered some solutions.

Automated citation building wikis and blogs that extract the links from the blog or wiki page and automatically post the citations in the proper format at the bottom of the page.

Computers have to tools to quickly and easily do this. Teach the students the legal way to use somebody elses ideas. We often indirectly take credit for someone elses work not because we are thiefs at heart but because we are lazy. So make the process easy.

Let me leave you with one last quote.

We have work to do. The nature of lawyers is to say NO. The nature of
administrators is to say NO. The nature of a good teacher is to advocate for
her/his students.

In the end it is about student learning.

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