Worried about plagiarism? You don’t know the half of it


Larry Lessig, speaking at TED, makes the case for kids who use stuff borrowed from others in their classroom presentations.

First, this speech should open your eyes to the danger of our only preaching against plagiarism to kids who borrow copyrighted stuff off the internet (see especially the last two minutes of his almost-19 minute presentation). What’s the alternative, you ask? See what Prof. Lessig says. What are the alternatives?

Second, Lessig shows how to use slides in a live presentation, to significantly increase the content delivered and the effectiveness of the delivery.


Tip of the old scrub brush to Presentation Zen. Go there now and read Garr Reynolds’ take on Lessig’s presentation.

Who is Larry Lessig? You don’t know TED? See below the fold.

TED is an acronym for Technology, Entertainment, Design. Teachers, administrators, the business world is light years and plain old years ahead of education in learning, in trying to figure out how education and learning affect what we can do in the world, and in disseminating ideas, as opposed to publishing textbooks and scraping by the state examinations. Go look at the TED site. Any more of my description would be unjust.

Let’s summarize it like this: TED is what your principal or dean wishes would happen at a faculty or department meeting, if your principal has a brain and gives it two minutes of thought. (Disagree, administrators? Tell me about it in the comments.) You should probably look at one or two of those talks a week, no?

Lessig professes law at Stanford. He’s an expert in internet and copyright law. You’ve never heard of him before? See how much out of it you are in cutting edge technology issues?

Lessig is the chairman of Creative Commons, and the founder of the Center for Internet and Society. If your students use the internet for classwork or homework, you should be familiar with both of these groups. The TEDs bio for Lessig says, “Stanford professor Larry Lessig is one of our foremost authorities on copyright issues. In a time when ‘content’ is not confined to a film canister, Lessig has a vision for reconciling creative freedom with marketplace competition.”


7 Responses to Worried about plagiarism? You don’t know the half of it

  1. […] NPR’s audio story is six minutes of fun, and learning.  Copyright, embedding and download issues — aren’t these the frontlines of new media legal discussion? […]


  2. […] there’s any proof that very few people know how to put together a good PowerPoint, it’s here. If you need proof that most people make horrible PowerPoint presentations, you’ve never […]


  3. Ed Darrell says:

    Be sure to check out Presentation Zen, too. TEDS isn’t the only place to find high quality presentations.



  4. eyeingtenure says:

    That’s the single best slideshow I’ve ever seen. When I introduce the PowerPoint in my classroom, I’m going to be sure to use a clip of this.



  5. […] internet and the potential for plagiarism: a huge hat tip to Millard Fillmore’s Bathtub for alerting us to this wonderful TED talk. It is 19 minutes long but well worth […]


  6. […] November 24, 2007:  Take a look at the video included in this post to see an effective use of a presentation tool like P…– though this one was done with Apple’s Keynote.  Check the links in the post, […]


  7. bernarda says:

    I saw this a while ago at the TED site. It is an effective presentation. It doesn’t overdo the visuals or add all sorts of Powerpoint razzmatazz. For some scientific presentations, fancy animation and other techniques can be very effective, but for something like this less is more.


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