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Jesse Stommel
Turnitin to Be Acquired by Advance Publications for $1.75B. So, that's what all that student Intellectual property is worth. How much of that $1.75B do you think is going to the students who have fed their database for years? I have a pretty good guess: zero billion.
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Jesse Stommel 6 Mar 19
Replying to @Jessifer
This is a pretty common end game for tech companies, especially ones that traffic in human data: create a large base of users, collect their data, monetize that data in ways that help assess its value, then leverage that valuation in an acquisition deal.
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Jesse Stommel 6 Mar 19
Replying to @Jessifer
What is most concerning is the specific kind of data that Turnitin has specialized in collecting: student intellectual property. And that they’ve made deals with public educational institutions, which help collect more data, while Turnitin sells access to that data back to them.
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Jesse Stommel 6 Mar 19
Replying to @Jessifer
Turnitin contributes to a culture of suspicion around student writing. They manufacture a problem and sell a solution. The Turnitin database clearly has monetary value, and contributors to that database (students) are not compensated for the use of their intellectual property.
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Jesse Stommel 6 Mar 19
Replying to @Jessifer
I'm increasingly worried about the way educational institutions engage with edtech companies. When institutions adopt a plagiarism detection tool, they’re choosing to trust a profit-driven corporation more than their own students.
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Jesse Stommel 6 Mar 19
Replying to @Jessifer
And usually more than their own composition experts, who are likely strong opponents of the use of pedagogically-flawed tools like Turnitin.
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Jesse Stommel 6 Mar 19
Replying to @Jessifer
I worry if tools like this continue to become ubiquitous, educators will just accept them as inevitable instead of furiously raising our collective eyebrows as institutions invest more and more in machines (and algorithms) and less and less in teachers and the work of teaching.
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Jesse Stommel 6 Mar 19
Replying to @slamteacher
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Jesse Stommel 7 Mar 19
Replying to @DrBillyXmas
The entire company is being acquired. They insist the student data will only be used to “improve the product,” but the product IS the database, which they charge educational institutions for access to.
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Dr. 🐯PattyCatty🦁Stokes😸 6 Mar 19
Replying to @Jessifer @ampersine
So, I was pushed to use the Turnitin interface because Blackboard eliminated most of the commenting tools that were useful to me as a professor. I am eminently prepared to identify plagiarism. It’s a real problem, not a manufactured one. Profs are constrained by BS systems.
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Jesse Stommel 7 Mar 19
Replying to @Kittywampus @ampersine
The culture of suspicion is what tools like Turnitin manufacture. Plagiarism exists, of course, but helping students understand how and when to cite their sources is the work of education, not a problem that needs to be solved.
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