Turnitin isn’t the Benevolent Tool You’ve Been Led to Believe

A funny thing happened on the way to academic integrity. Plagiarism detection software (PDS), like Turnitin, has seized control of student intellectual property. While students who use Turnitin are discouraged from copying other work, the company itself can strip mine and sell student work for profit.

For this bait-and-switch to succeed, Turnitin relies upon the uncritical adoption of their platform by universities, colleges, community colleges, and K12 schools. All institutions that, in theory, have critical thinking as a core value in their educational missions. And yet they are complicit in the abuse of students by corporations like Turnitin.

Read the whole essay.

When Reformers Disagree

This week’s RefoThursday post starts out with two quotes-

“Farewell to those who want an entirely pure and purified church. This is plainly wanting no church at all.”—Martin Luther

“[T]he church which is outwardly without spot and blemish”—Menno Simons

Read it.

Zwingli’s Mentor- Thomas Wyttenbach

wyttenbachWyttenbach was born at Biel, or Bienne, sixty miles west by south of Zurich, in 1472, and died there in 1526. In 1496 he was matriculated at Tuebingen, made M.A. there in 1500. In Basel he lectured from 1505 to 1507, when he became people’s priest in Biel and was to the rest of his days identified with that place.

He showed his independence and his defiance of ecclesiastical authority by marrying in 1524, and from that time on his troubles were incessant. He was deprived of his position, and just when he had increased need of money he found himself without any, and till the end of his days was miserably poor. But though in dire need he pleaded the case of spiritual freedom and kept up a gallant fight. His exertions won over many to the Reformation, and while he lay dying his heart was gladdened by the thought that his beloved native city was about to be numbered with the other Reformed cities of Switzerland.

He and Zwingli were frequent correspondents, yet only one letter has been preserved, viz., a long one by Zwingli on the Eucharist, dated June 15, 1523 (vii., 297–300). It is addressed “to his dear preceptor and brother in Christ at Biel.” Zwingli sends him a greeting as “his dear preceptor” in a letter to Haller, December 29, 1521 (vii., 187).

Rise Up, Bull in the Vineyard!

bullFrom our Saxon friends-

1520: On June 15, Leo X. issued the bull Exsurge Domine (“Arise O Lord”), which charged that 41 sentences in Luther’s various writings were “heretical, scandalous, offensive to pious ears,” though it did not specify which sentences had received what verdict. Luther was given 60 days upon receiving the bull to recant and another 60 days to report his recantation to Rome.