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TeachersPayTeachers: Cheating?

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Most educators frown heavily upon the practice of students “sharing” their work with each other. Whether someone gives an old paper to a friend, or sells an essay online, instructors reject such forms of plagiarism. But now, through a new website, teachers are invited to participate in an information market of their own.

The “revolutionary” TeachersPayTeachers.com is, as stated on its homepage, “the world’s first marketplace . . . where smart educators can buy and sell original course materials.” And if that’s not clear enough for you, it goes on to say “we will pay each other for our teaching materials.”

A site FAQ gives detailed information about copyrights, and users are warned not to share protected materials. As for plagiarism, the site’s owner said (as reported in an Associated Press article on CNN) “that scenario doesn’t apply here. Teachers are willingly selling their work, and those who buy it still have to apply it in their own way in the classroom.”

Whether TeachersPayTeachers is in the moral clear or not, the site isn’t exactly thriving. It has just 949 registered users at the moment, and only 99 “member-teacher authors.” The selection of “products” is limited to 269. Maybe it’s the annual fee of $29.95 (for sellers) that’s keeping people away.

None of the TeachersPayTeachers users interviewed in the Associated Press article came off as “bad,” or even “lazy,” people. The site’s owner, Paul Edelman, seemed just fine, too. Just the same, the site makes me a little uneasy. But perhaps the homepage’s claim is right: “the real winners will be our students,” it suggests.

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Doug is a staff writer for WebProNews. Visit WebProNews for the latest eBusiness news.

TeachersPayTeachers: Cheating?
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  • http://www.cfnm.co.in/bachelorette-cfnm/bachelorette-cfnm.html Cheating

    The site did not get the popularity as expected. But anyway, this is still cheating in terms of plagiarism. But then teachers ask students not to cheat to benefit the students.

  • Guest

    Do you share ideas with your colleagues and friends? Teachers have to be creative, spunky, and exciting everyday. We may only spend 5 to 6 hours a day with our students, but we gome home and plan, search our standards, and grade papers. We worry about the trouble kids. We pray for the kids in bad homes. We may have summer off, but we go to workshops, set up our rooms, and get ready for the next group coming in. So if we are “cheating” by sharing our best work with our colleagues, it is only so that we can give our best to your kids!

  • Guest

    It is not plagarism if I use a textbook in class to teach with, but it is if I purchase a lesson from another teacher.
    That’s some skewed logic.

  • guest

    Plagiarism is whenyou publish something for profit, but someone else wrote it and did not give you permission or rights to claim it as your own. This is no more plagiarism than is “ghost writing” – when a celeb hires someone else to write their “autobiography” and the celeb is named as the author.

    Is it plagiarism for the teacher to use the test bank and work sheet materials supplied by the publisher of the textbook used in class? No. Neither is it plagiarism for a teacher to purchase additional classroom materials out of their own pocket to supplement the materials provided by the schools. Curriculum writers and publishers are simply circumventing the old and outmoded traditional publishing structure to distribute their works directly to teachers through an online marketplace.

    Look at catalogs like Teacher Discovery. Those materials were written and designed by teachers for sale to other teachers, just in hard copy format rather than digital. This is the digital age! Publishing is slow to catch up, so teachers are abandoning traditional publishers and using online marketplaces like TeachersPayTeachers to get their curriculum materials published quickly and distributed to other teachers at a lower cost (look at the prices on materials in Teacher Discovery and other catalogs) and without killing trees. It’s a win-win for educators and their students.

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