Soupy Trumpet Blasts from the Web 3-19-2008

Dead Dog Sweaters May Not Be the Best Way to Remember Your Pets

Best Buy Pledges $10 Million to Past HD DVD Buyers; Trade-Ins, Too

Mom Says “Fun Straw” Looks Like Genitalia
The Speech
Facebook ‘cheater’ won’t be expelled

To tell you the truth, I don’t see how the Facebook group is different in principle from a study group.

A tool like Facebook does make it easier to to cheat, and the temptation probably goes up, too.

But, the students could get together secretly in person, and the only way to catch them would be to screen the results of their work (the old fashioned way, in other words).

I think the profs should devise assignments to make it hard for them to cheat, but easy to study together.

Maybe after we bomb or melt our way back to the stone ages, our memory skills can improve. Sweet.

See comments below for what other Soupy Trumpet writers think.

-MC Spanky McGee

While you’re here, check out Spanky’s take on Obama’s speech:
Obama’s speech on race, Jeremiah Wright, and the crux of the issue. A challenge to the critics.and Erich’s

McCain’s Middle East policy: “Keep fighting the bad guys. Someday we’ll figure out why.”

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About MC_Spanky_ McGee

Spanky really likes Wendy's #6, and does not buy the so-called purist's prohibition against adding onions or pepperjack to Spicy Chicken. Spanks also rocks out El Burrito Loco in DeKalb, IL. Winners: Arby's, Taco Bell, and Burger King. Losers: Taco John's and people who don't cuss. Slappy is a firm believer in evolution, loves his iPod, and does not like the Republican Party. Slappy also likes double-bass-driven metal (Tool, Lamb of God, etc), funk, classic rock, but also likes classical and pop music.

4 thoughts on “Soupy Trumpet Blasts from the Web 3-19-2008

  1. The Facebook cheater guy raises some real worries. While an online “study group” can be helpful, and while answers are often traded in homework circles, it’s only a matter of time before test questions and answers get posted, people swap papers, etc. Plagiarism from the internet is already a huge problem (busted 3 or 4 last semester alone), and this TA fears that profs and instructors are going to start getting their asses kicked by internet cheaters, unless they stay as much up on the technology as their students.

  2. I remember being surprised when I saw that the super-smart-snobby kids back in the day had hidden notes in their TI-85 calculators. Technology and cheating go hand in hand.

    The question really has become “do I need to spend time learning the capital of Brazil if I can Google it in mere seconds the ONE time I will need to know it?”

    Basically is it cheating or resourcefulness? Calculators anyone?

  3. I was just reading an article the other day, claiming that scholars in the middle ages had awesome memories. Since books weren’t widely available, they had to employ all sorts of mnemonic devices to learn long passages and lists. Today, few people can remember all 50 states. Now, of course, the pencil has given way to the slide rule has given way to the TI-85 has given way to computer programs, etc. And all of these things speed up the process of churning out answers. But at what cost? Do students understand what they’re doing? Does it matter, as long as they can do it? What does our lack of memory skills and attention spans mean for human beings?

  4. Those are all valid questions and points. I feel like I can be resourceful enough to take on many projects that I am not classically “schooled” in. I also have seen my knowledge grow and my memory shrink noticeably.

    I chalk it up to my brain assigning value to what I need NOW and squeezing out things like what flavor cake I ate at the arcade for my birthday party 20 years ago.

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