Have you ever cheated on a test when you were in school? Or copy your friend’s homework? Maybe you didn’t copy your friend’s work, but they did your work for you. Well, of course, your answer is a resounding No! Right???

Unfortunately, as an educator, I have had a few less ethical students than you. In fact, one of the students was my child. Yes, my child. Well, you can imagine how I felt when my child’s teacher contacted me concerning the issue.

So let me explain what happened. One day I was in my classroom when my colleague called and asked me to meet with them. When I asked about the nature of the meeting, my colleague stated they needed to chat with me about an assignment submitted by my child.

As I entered my colleague’s classroom, I could tell they were very uncomfortable. Finally, after a few awkward minutes, my colleague gave me two papers to read. Once I saw the papers, I immediately knew why I was called to their classroom.

Well, I will not bore you with the details of the conversation my husband and I had with our child or the consequences they received. But it included earning a failing grade on the paper and an apology letter to the teacher.

Teachers have always been on the lookout for plagiarizing of assignments. For example, my child’s teacher recognized the plagiarized work because one student copied another student’s work. However, artificial intelligence (AI) is changing the way students can plagiarize.

Why? Because AI can write the paper for the student. So, how can teachers in K-12 education determine if students are using AI to complete their assignments?

Well, teachers can look for signs of plagiarism or unusually high-quality work compared to the student’s typical capabilities. They can also use technology like plagiarism detectors to detect potential AI-generated text.

For example, Turnitin’s AI-powered plagiarism detector, iThenticate, scan student work for copied content and can even identify when students have incorporated AI-generated text. Here are some more apps teachers can use:

  1. Copyscape is a popular plagiarism detection tool that can detect when AI has been used to generate parts of a submitted assignment. It can also detect instances of online plagiarism.
  2. Unicheck: This app scans student assignments for plagiarism and AI-generated content by comparing the text to billions of online sources.
  3. PlagScan: PlagScan is an AI-based plagiarism detection tool for K-12 educators. It scans documents for plagiarism and can detect if AI was used for assignments.

Taking the time to use an app to detect AI-generated content for students is additional work for teachers. However, the time savings from using AI to help with lesson planning and other lesson content should more than offset the extra effort.

Can students also use AI without plagiarizing? Yes, students can utilize AI-generated text without plagiarizing. For example, students may use text created by AI to help them brainstorm ideas or develop creative perspectives on a topic. This is not plagiarism as long as they properly cite the AI-generated text.

“The secret of change is to focus all of your energy not on fighting the old, but on building the new!”

– Socrates

Technology has changed our world. Therefore, educators must leverage technology to prepare students to compete in a global economy. While change is not easy, it is inevitable. The question is how education will respond to the changing world.

Are you leveraging technology to identify the misuse of artificial intelligence?


Are you a classroom teacher, school administrator, or central office staff member looking for more guidance? Then join me for the Moore Leadership Moment on YouTube.

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Dr. Kim Moore

About the author

I'm Kim, your Educational Leadership Guide. I equip educational leaders with research-based and experientially learned educational leadership principles and best practices to promote student success.