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teach1st Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-25-04 04:02 AM
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Erosion of privacy reaches schoolhouse

By LYNN STRATTON, St. Petersburg Times
Published July 25, 2004

When President Bush signed the No Child Left Behind Act of 2002, he stressed the importance of bringing education into the digital age. NCLB, in fact, requires teachers, students and administrators to use technology for all aspects of school work at all levels, from kindergarten through graduate school.

In our rush toward online schools, however, we seem to be ignoring one question: When all our schools are digital, what happens to the data? In 1997, a Washington D.C.-based company called Blackboard began offering software for educational institutions, corporations and government agencies worldwide.

In our schools, everything from test results to grade books to records of student-teacher conferences are available online. Blackboard even provides "smart cards" that can act as debit cards, check out library books, even pay for meals off campus.

On July 1, Blackboard announced its partnership with iParadigms, based in Oakland, Calif., which offers a program called Turnitin. Turnitin allows instructors to submit student assignments to be checked for plagiarism. The assignments are checked against three huge databases: a continuously updated copy of the Internet, an index of published works, and - here's the scary part - a database of all papers previously submitted to Turnitin.

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brokensymmetry Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-25-04 06:41 AM
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1. Good article.
I was aware of Turnitin, but I hadn't even considered the broader implications.

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