Friday, August 7, 2009

School District PR Writer Plagiarizes Literacy Council News Release

Jessenia Cisneros may have cited her essay sources in high school under the watchful eye of a language arts teacher. But, apparently the lesson didn’t carry over to the world of work.

Cisneros practices in a field that some people consider a branch of journalism, a profession called “public relations.” In addition, she works for a school system where the following lessons are a specific part of the curriculum:

*The student will ethically use mass media and digital technology in assignments and presentations, citing sources according to standardized citation styles.
*The student will understand the importance of legal and ethical practices, including laws regarding libel, slander, copyright, and plagiarism and the use of mass media and digital sources, know the associated consequences, and comply with the law.
*The student will record information and ideas from primary and/or secondary sources accurately and coherently, noting the validity and reliability of these sources and attributing sources of information
.

Although Old Word Wolf did the underlining, the words come directly from the Florida Department of Education, the agency that issues the Sunshine State standards. The standards mean that no matter where one goes to school in Florida, employers (among others) can reasonably expect graduates to know these things.

Here's what Cisneros' employer can rely on: She does not attribute information or credit her source. She is capable of copying a news release written by others without using quotation marks around the word-for-word material. She is willing to publish extensive news-style quotes from sources she did not interview. And, finally, she will put her by-line on a prepared news release and send it to newspaper editors as if it were her own work.

Cisneros was trying to get good publicity for her bosses. Instead, she provided a model of hypocrisy and ethical bankruptcy -- not the things she learned in school.

The evidence is below the fold.


IBM grant will help improve literacy
By JESSENIA CISNEROS DESOTO COUNTY SCHOOL DISTRICT
ARCADIA — Adults and families throughout the state will soon have access to new technology from IBM to help adults and families improve their reading skills. The Florida Literacy Coalition Inc. received a grant from IBM for the company’s Reading Companion software which will be used by 34 Florida-based literacy programs, with a total in-kind value of $340,000.

One of these 34 programs is the “Learning Together” Family Literacy program held at the Family Service Center in Arcadia, under the aegis of The DeSoto County Education Foundation Inc.

Reading Companion uses speech-recognition technology that “listens” to new readers speak and gives individualized feedback, letting them practice their pronunciation as they acquire fundamental reading skills. This Web-based technology was developed by IBM research to improve English literacy skills.

“The support of IBM enables programs throughout the state to employ breakthrough technology in the classroom, alongside traditional curriculum to help students achieve greater English literacy and language skills,” said Greg Smith, Florida Literacy Coalition Executive Director. “We certainly appreciate IBM’s generous support and commitment to literacy.”

Programs that will be receiving this technology grant include community colleges, school districts and nonprofit literacy organizations in 23 Florida counties.

“Literacy is a key ingredient for students to be successful in school, perform in their jobs, and conduct their personal lives,” said Janell Ray, IBM corporate affairs manager. “IBM is proud to be part of Florida Literacy Coalition’s programs helping our adults and families gain the literacy skills needed to become more productive in their lives and in our society.”

Reading Companion software is effective because it is simple to use. Readers wear a headset microphone connected to a computer, and then select an e-book from the virtual library. As they read the book aloud, the software “listens” to their pronunciation and accuracy, and provides them with immediate feedback (such as, “That was great!”). If they have difficulty with the words, they are gently encouraged to try again or hear a correct pronunciation. In addition, participants are given a special ID and password that makes Reading Companion available to them online, so they can continue lessons wherever and whenever they can access the Internet.

Reading Companion also gives teachers statistical results on how the new reader is progressing. IBM also introduced the “Book Builder” feature, enabling anyone to become an author by creating an ebook that becomes part of the e-library for students to use around the world.

Reading Companion uses innovative speechrecognition technology developed by IBM researchers in partnership with teachers in IBM partner schools and notfor-profit organizations. It can be used in schools as well as to help adult learners to read. Currently, more than 700 schools and nonprofit organizations around the world are using Reading Companion in more than 25 countries.

“We are appreciative of the continued efforts of the Florida Literacy Coalition and their continued contribution to the adults and families in DeSoto County,” said Martha Jo Markey, principal of the Family Service Center. “One can never have too many options for reading experiences.”

The “Learning Together” Family Literacy program will begin again when school resumes. Call 863-993-1333 after August 17 for more information or visit the Web site at www.desoto schools.com/fsc.

__________________________

Florida Literacy Coalition, Inc. to Apply Innovative IBM technology to Improving Statewide Literacy Efforts
Posted on Thursday, August 06, 2009
Orlando, FL -- (SBWIRE) -- 08/06/2009 -- Adults and families throughout the state will soon have access to new technology provided by IBM that can help adults and families improve their reading skills. The Florida Literacy Coalition, Inc. received a grant by IBM for the company’s Reading Companion software which will be used by thirty-four Florida-based literacy programs, with a total in-kind value of $340,000.

Reading Companion uses speech-recognition technology that “listens” to emerging readers speak and provides individualized feedback, enabling them to practice their pronunciation as they acquire fundamental reading skills. This Web-based technology was developed by IBM research and aims to improve English literacy skills.

“The support of IBM enables programs throughout the state to employ breakthrough technology in the classroom, alongside traditional curriculum to help students achieve greater English literacy and language skills,” said Greg Smith, Florida Literacy Coalition Executive Director. “We certainly appreciate IBM’s generous support and commitment to literacy.”

Programs benefiting from this technology grant comprise of community colleges, school districts, and non-profit literacy organizations (see attached list) located in twenty three counties throughout Florida. “Literacy is a key ingredient for students to be successful in school, perform in their jobs, and conduct their personal lives,” said Corporate Citizenship and Corporate Affairs Manager, Janell Ray. “IBM is proud to be part of Florida Literacy Coalition’s, programs helping our adults and families gain the literacy skills needed to become more productive in their lives and in our society.”

The Reading Companion software is effective because it is simple to use. Readers wear a headset microphone connected to a computer, and then select an e-book from the virtual library. As they read the book aloud, the software “listens” to their pronunciation and accuracy, and provides them with immediate feedback (e.g. That was great!). If they have difficulty with the words, they are gently encouraged to try again or receive a correct reading. In addition, participants are given a special ID and password that makes Reading Companion available to them on the Web, enabling them to continue lessons wherever and whenever they can access a computer.

Reading Companion also provides teachers with statistical results on how the new reader is progressing. IBM also introduced the “Book Builder” feature, enabling anyone to become an author by creating an e-book that becomes part of the e-library for students to use around the world.

Reading Companion uses innovative speech-recognition technology developed by IBM researchers in partnership with teachers in IBM partner schools and not-for-profit organizations. It can be used in both primary schools as well as help adult learners to read. Currently, more than 700 schools and nonprofit organizations around the world are using Reading Companion in more than 27 countries.

Visit http://www.sbwire.com/redirect?url=http://www.floridaliteracy.org/2004/recipients.htm to see a list of the Reading Companion Grant Recipients.
About the Florida Literacy Coalition:
Established in 1985, The Florida Literacy Coalition (FLC) promotes, supports and advocates for the effective delivery of quality adult and family literacy services in the state of Florida.

As a statewide umbrella literacy organization and the host of Florida’s Adult and Family Literacy Resource Center, FLC provides a range of services to support more than 300 adult education, literacy and family literacy providers throughout Florida. Special emphasis is placed on assisting community based literacy organizations with their training and program development needs.
Contact:
Judy Bodnar
Florida Literacy Coalition, Inc.
Office (407) 246-7110 Ext 207
E-mail: bodnarj@floridaliteracy.org
Website: http://www.sbwire.com/redirect?url=http://www.floridaliteracy.org
Media Relations Contact
Kari Doro Florida Literacy Coalition
407-246-7110http://www.sbwire.com/redirect?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.floridaliteracy.orgEmail Contact



1 comment:

  1. I recently came accross your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I dont know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.


    Margaret

    http://grantsforeducation.info

    ReplyDelete