The Techie Teacher

Why Cheating is Harmful to Kids' Creativity and How Technologies Can Help Prevent It

Monday, August 21, 2017 / Leave a Comment

Why Cheating is Harmful to Kids' Creativity and How Technologies Can Help Prevent It

Why Cheating is Harmful to Kids' Creativity and How Technologies Can Help Prevent It: Unicheck integrates with Google Classroom

Sponsored Post Written By: Margaryta Kremneva from Unicheck

Were you ever told as a kid that cheating was wrong? Have you ever cheated? If the answer is no, then you’re in the small minority: surveys among college students show that at least 86% admit to having cheated in school, quite an overwhelming number of people doing something everyone knows to be wrong. However, do they realize why it’s wrong?

Why is cheating bad for children (and for everyone else)

A 2011 study showed a dramatic increase in cheating rates over the previous ten years, with 88% of the cases owing it in some way to the Internet and computers.

An academic cheating fact sheet from Stanford states, “many students feel that their individual honesty in academic endeavors will not affect anyone else”. There’s an old fashioned argument about this: would you like your children to be operated on by a doctor who’s cheated on their exam? The Cheating Fact sheet reinforces this notion with this entry: “Cheating does not end at graduation. For example, resume fraud is a serious issue for employers concerned about the level of integrity of new employees.”

But one could argue, that this only applies to professional education, so why not let kindergarteners cheat? The problem is the habit: the “normality” of cheating will persist once the child starts down this path at any age. Why bother taking the difficult road of learning and making effort when you know you can cheat your way through it? Consider these statistics about younger cheaters: “Cheating may begin in elementary school when children break or bend the rules to win competitive games against classmates. It peaks during high school when about 75% of students admit to some sort of academic misgivings. Research about cheating among middle school children (Ages 12-14) reveals that: There is an increased motivation to cheat because there is more emphasis on grades; Even those students who say it’s wrong, cheat; If the goal is to get a good grade, they will cheat. According to one recent survey of middle schoolers, 2/3 of respondents reported cheating on exams, while 9/10 reported copying another's homework.” What this means is that children, from a young age, start focusing on the grade over knowledge, which makes the whole purpose of education obsolete.

In fact, it harms children in more ways than one. On the one hand, they cheat their way out of actually learning the information, but more importantly, cheating replaces the skill of learning, one of the most valuable assets in today’s rapidly changing job landscape. With the world changing so fast, preparing children for a future life is a daunting task for a parent, and teaching them to learn and adapt is one of the safest bets. You take the knowledge out of education and the skill of acquiring it – and children end up graduating right into the difficult ever-lasting struggle for a job.

Children are naturally curious and able to learn, a lot of the basic intellectual capabilities are developed early. Cheating strikes a blow to this natural curiosity and hurts the child’s self-confidence and faith in their ability to learn. Instead of tackling a challenging task on their own, with creativity and drive, a child gives up on it, and over time this affects their confidence such they could have solved it on their own. A somewhat cheeky attitude can help people be bold enough to try and, possibly, where others give up without even trying.

Creativity is also at stake here, because solving problems requires not only knowledge but also the flexibility of the mind and analytical thinking. Where ethical learning helps a child, and later a student, to become accustomed to analyzing problems, looking for different solutions and being intellectually creative and resourceful, cheating removes the motivation to think outside the box or go through the toilsome thinking process at all. Plagiarism is an especially toxic type of cheating in that regard. If independent thinking doesn’t sound like something valuable to you on its own, consider that complex problem solving, creativity and independent critical thinking are consistently named among the top skills that will be valued by employers.

How do we fight cheating?


A very important component to a cheating-free world is, of course, the upbringing. As much as kindergarten and school teachers might try, in the end, the influence of the family plays a huge role in what a child considers right and wrong: perhaps, it would be wise for many parents to pay special attention to educating their children about why cheating is bad for them.

Additionally, technology can be used not only by cheaters but also by those fighting cheating. Electronic testing systems, surveillance during tests are supposed to handle the cheating on exams. What about the most harmful type of cheating: plagiarism?

Plagiarism hurts critical thinking skills and creativity more than other types of cheating. Many universities are aware of the problem and use plagiarism-checkers to ensure students haven’t cheated, so it’s very fortunate that developers are trying to provide their services in the most affordable way, joining the fight against plagiarism. However, as much as universities try, it will be incredibly difficult to stop a person who’s been cheating, since school from plagiarizing their academic papers. In fact, it might even be too late to teach them not to: having grown up relying on plagiarism, a kid simply skips learning how to do it the right way. With this in mind, it would be wise to prevent children from developing the very habit of plagiarizing from a young age.

Luckily enough, many of the plagiarism-checkers are integrated with other modern educational tools like Google Classroom, for example, Unicheck’s plagiarism checker. This checker’s advantages include a truly exceptional pricing combined with cutting edge technology and a smooth user experience. 95% of the checker’s features are available free of charge. The company believes that eradicating plagiarism is a worthy cause, so a lot of the decisions are made with the comfort of users in mind. 

 


As part of this socially responsible effort, Unicheck implemented the integration with Google Classroom hoping to encourage educators to pay the problem the level of attention it so requires. Setting up the integration is a very straightforward process, so anyone who uses Google Classroom should make sure to check it out for themselves.

Setting the service up in a Unicheck account takes only five simple steps:


1.    Create the title for your integration.
2.    Log in with your School’s Google account.
3.    Choose whether to create the integration for all of your courses or only specific ones.
4.    Configure reports settings.
5.    Configure the global plagiarism tools settings.



Considering that cheating starts long before kids go off to the university, educators who work with younger children should prioritize preventing plagiarism among their young students for the sake of their creativity and future success. Perhaps, using plagiarism checkers is one way to do it, especially when it integrates well with other learning systems. Think outside the box and help your students learn to do the same!
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Using Activities in Google Slides™ on an iPad

Sunday, August 13, 2017 / Leave a Comment

Using Google Slides™ Activities on an iPad

Let's take a look at the differences between using Google Slides™ on a web browser (how we use Google Drive on Chromebooks™, laptops, and computers) vs. using the Google Slides™ app on the iPad®.
The differences between using Google Slides™ on the web (Chromebooks, computers, laptops) and using the Google Slides app on an iPad.

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Digital Tools for Map Skills Practice

Tuesday, August 8, 2017 / Leave a Comment

Digital Tools for Map Skills Practice

Making digital maps is a fun activity for any unit on map skills. Here are some of my favorite web tools to use in the elementary classroom. These tools can be used on Chromebooks, laptops or computers.

Digital tools for map skills practice when using Chromebooks, laptops or computers. Technology in the classroom.

MapMaker

MapMaker is an easy to use tool that does not require a login. Students can create town maps and practice measuring distances with a digital ruler. You can read all about this tool HERE.

Use MapMaker to create digital maps. Technology in the classroom

Google Tour Builder


Three years ago I blogged about Google Tour Builder in THIS post. It is still one of my favorite tools to use to put a story on a map. Google Tour Builder is wonderful to use for all types of geography units. Students will need to sign in with their Google account. 

Scribble Maps


I have blogged about Scribble Maps in my 5 Easy Techie Tools for Social Studies and European Explorer Project posts. You have the option to sign in but it is not required. The drawing tools make it easy to mark-up any map.

National Geographic MapMaker Interactive


National Geographic's Map Maker is a wonderful tool to use with many features. Zoom in and out on maps, create layers, add drawings, insert video links and more! Read about all of the interactive features in THIS blog post.

Make a Map in Google Drive™

One of my most recent products, Make a Map in Google Drive™, makes a wonderful activity for any unit on map skills and/or communities. This project can be completed independently or collaboratively.
Make a Map Digital Project in Google Drive™ is a great way for students to explore map skills. It would even be a nice addition to a social studies unit on communities. This paperless project can be used independently or collaboratively using Chromebooks, laptops or computers.

Check out this quick video to see more:


Other Resources:

What are some other tools we could add to this list for elementary students?


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Using Incredibox in the Classroom

Tuesday, August 1, 2017 / Leave a Comment

What is Incredibox?

Incredibox is a free web tool that allows you to easily create a musical mix by running a band of beatboxers. It is also available in the iTune Store for $3.99. This tool has been around since 2009 but I just learned about it a few weeks ago at the Lake Michigan Technology Conference. Thank you to Steve Dembo from Teach42 for kicking off his session with an Incredibox musical creation. I've been thinking about how to use this in the classroom ever since Steve's session!

Using the free web tool, Incredibox, in the classroom for technology projects. Great way to incorporate music into your curriculum! Will work on Chromebooks, laptops and computers. There is also an iPad app available for $3.99
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Bloxels: Game-Based Learning at Its Best

Thursday, July 27, 2017 / Leave a Comment

Bloxels: Game-Based Learning at Its Best

Bloxels: Game-Based Learning at Its Best! Technology in the Classroom and MakerSpace. Bloxels is a platform that allows students to create their own video games without any coding knowledge. Come learn ways you can incoporate it into the curriculum!
Guest post by: Mary Ledford & Karen Sjogren

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Using Book Creator for the Web in the Elementary Classroom

Friday, July 21, 2017 / 6 comments

Using Book Creator for the Web in the Elementary Classroom

The popular iPad app, Book Creator, recently became available on the web for Chromebook, laptop and desktop users! You no longer have to have an iPad to be able to use this highly versatile tool. The web version will work on ANY device that runs a Chrome browser. It is still in beta; however, I am very impressed with how smoothly it has worked for me so far.

Using Book Creator for the Web in the Elementary Classroom: This digital tool will allow students to create paperless books on Chromebooks, laptops, desktops, iPhones, Androids and any device that will run a Chrome browser. Very similar to the Book Creator iPad app except student sign into an account and their books pop up under the teacher's library.

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Codemoji: Bring Coding to the Classroom with Emojis

Sunday, July 16, 2017 / Leave a Comment

Bring Coding to the Classroom with Emojis

Guest post by: Livio Blozon, Codemoji Creator

Bring Coding to the Classroom with Emojis using Codemoji. This web tool can be used on a Chrome browser and will introduce students to HTML, CSS abd Javascript with the help of emojis!
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My Favorite Microphones for Audio Recording in the Classroom

Tuesday, July 11, 2017 / Leave a Comment

My Favorite Microphones for Audio Recording in the Classroom

My favorite microphones for audio recording in the classroom. These microphones will work on iPads, tablets, smartphones, Chromebooks, laptops, and desktops. Students will love these fun microphones to use with their digital projects!
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How to Use Your Phone as a Presentation Remote

Sunday, June 25, 2017 / 10 comments

How to Use Your Phone as a Presentation Remote

How to Use Your Phone as a Presentation Remote. Control your Google Slides™ presentation, PowerPoint presentation, Prezi presentation, etc. straight from your phone!

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Water Testing Kits for Schools and Science Fairs

Friday, June 23, 2017 / 6 comments

Water Testing Kits for Schools, Teachers and Science Fairs

Today I am going to let you in on a little secret. My husband and I have a fascination with water. We want to know everything about any kind of H20.

Investigate acid rain, chemical erosion and weather while learning about the Scientific Method using Water Testing Kits for Schools and Science Fairs. Makes a great science experiment!

I took a liking to studying water in 5th grade when we were learning about acid rain. For some reason I just couldn't get over that a substance that falls from the sky could cause devastation to Earth's surface. As our science unit unfolded, my teacher, Miss Vaccaro, gave us these little paper test strips to test the pH of different sources of water. I was hooked!

Later in life I met my husband, who at the time was the East Coast Regional Sales Manager for Pentair, a company that specializes in water filtration systems. I can't tell you how many water treatment systems we have had to check out on vacations and various other destinations we have been to in the past. 

We both LOVE to test water! 

A Look Inside a Science Fair Kit



Therefore, when Holly from Water Testing Kits reached out to me to try their product, I immediately jumped on board. It was like Christmas morning as I opened my special box😂










A Water Testing Kit box includes 4 test kits and a TDS meter.








Each of the 4 test kits contain a test vial, iron test strip, iron reagent tablet, alkalinity/pH/hardness text strip, chlorine/copper/nitrate/nitrite text strip and a test chart to help translate results.



Since school is out for the summer, I didn't get a chance to try this kit out with a class. However, I had a blast performing my very own science experiment at home.😜
I compared and tested distilled water, our tap water and rainfall that I collected with a rain gauge.


How to Use These Kits at School

The water testing kits would be wonderful to use for science experiments to go along with a unit on the scientific method, weather and/or chemical erosion

I think it would be a blast to conduct an experiment with this kit and use it with my Scientific Method Digital Lab Report in Google Slides. Students could work independently OR collaboratively to fill in the slides with their scientific information and add pictures of their experiment testing different kinds of water. This product even comes with an editable grading rubric.


Watertestingkits.com has donated 3 kits for a giveaway! Enter for your chance to win one of these fabulous kits AND my Scientific Method Report in Google Slides. Three winners will be chosen next Friday: June 30th.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

If you are interested in purchasing a few kits for your classroom, click HERE.

*This is not a sponsored post.*

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How to Use a Split Screen to Increase Productivity in the Classroom

Friday, June 16, 2017 / 4 comments

Using a Split Screen in the Classroom

How to Use a Split Screen to Increase Productivity in the classroom using Chromebooks, laptops, computers or iPads.

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8 Apps to Engage Elementary Learners This Summer

Sunday, June 11, 2017 / 2 comments

8 Apps to Engage Elementary Learners This Summer

 8 Apps to Engage Elementary Learners This Summer. Help prevent the summer slide with these digital activities for the iPad or tablet.

Guest post by: Ethan Miller

Summer vacations - that time of the year that students look forward to the most! The much needed break at the end of each academic year gives students a chance to let their hair down and have fun. With unlimited ice creams, video games, summer camps, and quality time with family, it isn’t hard to see why kids love summer vacations.

But for parents, it is quite a task to keep their active kids engaged and to ensure that there is minimal summer learning loss. While vacation time is all about having fun, there are ways to integrate learning with fun to engage today’s tech-savvy children. Here are 8 apps to ensure a fun learning experience for elementary learners this summer:        


Everyone would agree that it is essential to develop critical thinking, analytical, and problem solving skills in young learners. Analogies 4 Kids is an app dedicated to cultivate the aforementioned skills in kids through a fun and interactive platform. It has over 450 multiple choice questions that can be categorized as Picture Analogies and Word Analogies. It helps children to draw a relation between images and helps them understand spatial concepts. Since it involves problem solving and it boosts confidence with every right answer, Analogies 4 Kids will quickly grow on kids and will soon be one of their favorite apps.  

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Suitable for age group: 6-11 years    

Amazon’s Kindle is undoubtedly a great gift for kids who love to read. But, in my opinion, Kindle is also a wonderful app for introducing your kids to the world of books. Summer vacations are the perfect time for kids to discover the pleasure of reading and the Kindle app is the perfect reading tool as it provides access to thousands of free books ranging from novels to comics and graphic novels. Apart from being completely free, it is compatible with Android, PC, Mac, iPad, iPhone, iPod touch, BlackBerry, and Windows Phone 8.   

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Suitable for age group: 8-11 years

Who doesn’t love buzzer rounds in quiz shows? How about you create your own quiz show with a makeshift buzzer and the Cram app? This flashcard app is great for developing vocabulary, learning math formulas and learning new languages. With options to create your own flashcards, you can put on the quiz master’s hat and make kids compete against each other, creating a fun learning environment. One can also choose from two inbuilt games in the app to test one’s knowledge by loading a set of flashcards.    

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Suitable for age group: 6-11 years

This amazing app takes kids on a virtual tour across the globe by allowing them to explore continents, countries, cities, oceans, mountains, flora, fauna, and much more. It helps kids understand different cultures across the globe and keeps them up-to-date with current events of the world. It is a great way to spark the kids’ interests in geography and environment studies. With an interactive 3D globe, vibrant colors, and captivating graphic design, children are bound to fall in love with Barefoot World Atlas.

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Suitable for age group: 6-11 years

Doodle Buddy is a wonderful addition to the list of summer apps as it provides a great platform for kids to dabble with color and have fun. With tons of stickers, stamps and cool backgrounds, this app not just unleashes a child’s artistic talents but also gives wings to their imagination. With a number of easy-to-use painting and editing tools, Doodle Buddy can help uncover the hidden painter in your child.

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Suitable for age group: 5-11 years.

Math is one of the subjects that most kids struggle with. Well, here comes Sushi Monster to the rescue, making Math fun and easy to learn. This app game is perfect for helping kids understand basic math concepts like addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. With over 12 levels of game play, learning and practicing math has never been so enjoyable. To sum it up, Sushi + Math + Fun = Sushi Monster.

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Suitable for age group: 6-9 years.

Kids love to watch cartoons. But what if there is an app that allows kids to create cartoons? Toontastic is a fantastic app that helps nurture the storyteller in kids by allowing them to draw, animate and narrate stories of their own. This app allows young learners to design characters, develop plot lines, add voiceovers and soundtracks to turn their ideas into engaging cartoons. From adventure and sci-fi flicks to school reports and documentaries, Toontastic gives a wide range of story options to choose from. It even allows kids to add their own faces to the characters! It’s the perfect app to unveil the storyteller in your child.

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Suitable for age group: 6-11 years.


Grammar is the key to reading, writing, and speaking the English language. But learning and remembering grammar rules can be a tiring task. Thanks to the Grammaropolis app, learning English grammar can be a fun experience for kids. Through videos, quizzes, games, and books featuring animated characters, this app uses cool examples and makes English grammar easier for kids to understand. Take your child to Grammaropolis - the place where grammar lives!  

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Suitable for age group: 7-11 years.  

Parents should encourage their children to use these apps, but they should avoid imposing it on them as summer vacation is all about having fun after all! I hope these apps help you in minimizing summer break learning loss. If you have a personal favorite summer app that is not listed here, do let me know in the comments!   

Author's Bio:

Ethan Miller is an online ESL tutor. Apart from his passion for teaching, he loves to write and holds a degree in creative writing. When he is not teaching or working on his book, Miller loves to blog and is a huge fan of educational technology. You can follow Miller on Twitter and check out his blog.




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