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Cheating With Technology

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Cheating with Technology

Technological advancements have given today's society new ways of providing information and communicating. With these advancements come the good and the bad. In the academic environment, students have used technology as a productive way to study, read, and communicate, but have also implemented it in unethical ways such as cheating and getting by

without doing the work that is necessary to learn. The introduction of technology as a potential use for cheating and the instructors' needs for change are causing many issues to surround these problematic circumstances.

Effects of Introducing Technology into the Classroom

In recent years, there have been technical advancements in nearly every aspect of our day to day lives. With that in mind, it stands to reason that technology has made its way into our classrooms, arming our children with the skills they need to work with the new technology, as well as assisting teachers in the education process. The article, Customized Learning, A. Ellisor (2006), discusses how the use of an online search tool helps teachers, as well as students, locate "educational resources for various reading levels". This tool helps teachers to tailor assignments for the diverse learning levels of the children in their classrooms. Further, in survey results published in CIO Insights (2006) on Classroom Tech, 54% of teachers say technology has changed the way they teach and 37% of teachers use technology, daily, in their instruction.

With all the positive advancements in classrooms as a result of adding technology, one would expect that there would be some negative issues, as well. Children growing up with technology at their fingertips are beginning to realize that they can use this technology to make their lives easier, in every aspect. No longer is it necessary to go to the library to use an encyclopedia when students have the world wide web available to them 24 hours a day, and no longer is it necessary to study for a test, when, using technology, students can obtain the answers. As shared in pssstÐ'...What's the Answer? No problem. Some teachers worry high-tech electronics, mixed with old-fashioned sneakiness, are making cheating easier and more widespread than ever before, J.D Heyman, et. al. (Jan 24, 2005), students are using internet sites, camera phones, PDAs, and even a battery sized device called a KEYcatcher, which students use to learn their teacher's computer passwords and steal test answers to help them obtain better test scores.

How and When Cheating with Technology is Occurring

In this technological age, traditional cheating methods of writing information on hands or arms, whispering to a fellow students and passing notes have made way for enhanced high-tech cheating styles. Today's modern student has brought high-tech cheating to the academic world with such devices as programmable calculators, cellular phones, personal data assistants (PDA), and laptop computers (Richardson, 2002).

Programmable calculators provide students with the capability to store information, equations, and answers in the device memory for easy access during tests, quizzes and exams. The cellular phone text messaging feature allows students to get answers easily, even from someone outside the room. Personal data assistants have features like the programmable calculators where information can be stored in its internal memory, but some personal data assistants also have wireless access features providing access to the internet to look up the answers information needed. Laptops, mainly used by college students, have all the capabilities of the devices just described, wireless internet access, memory for storage, and instant messengers for direct communications.

From junior high school to college, students at all levels are using these types of devices to escape hours involved in preparing for tests, quizzes and exams. The technology used is easy to acquire, not hard to operate, and provides an effective way to cheat (Richardson, 2002).

Steps Being Taken to Combat Cheating with Technology

There are many ways to attack the problem of cheating with technology, but we are going to focus on three main points: Prevention, detection, and disciplining the offenders.

Preventing cheating before it happens is the easiest tactic. The strongest indication is that educating students properly and clearly outlining the institution's conduct policies and academic standards is the best way to prevent it from happening (Gross-Davis, 1993, Ð'¶ 2). Setting up a strategy for students to succeed is becoming more popular among university staff members in an effort to eliminate stress and the pressure to perform. Classroom guidelines set at the beginning of a term, including banning electronic devices, distribution of multiple versions of an exam, and creating a controlled classroom are several other successful deterrents in the fight against cheating (Read, 2004, p.2).

Detecting cheating, whether it is on exams, in the classroom, or plagiarism seems to be continually one step behind technology. However, awareness in the classroom and multiple plagiarism detection services offered to staff members has eased the burden. Vigilant monitoring of the classroom during exams is possibly the oldest and best way to detect cheating. Online services, such as Turnitin (2007), have provided instructors tools to identify material that has been plagiarized.

Finally, enforcing discipline procedures according to the policies of the school is essential. Confronting the incident immediately with formal action maintains consistency among staff members and helps promote academic honesty (Gross-Davis, 1993, Ð'¶ 2).

The Implications of Chasing Cheaters Using Technology

In academia, this increases the struggle between student and teacher. This struggle compiled with the growth of devices and their uses for both student and instructor, has helped technology cheating to become more prevalent. But is this truly a growing problem or has discovery methods improved because of technology?

Either in a high school or college environment, instructors are faced with more students and classes that they have per week. With each additional student, comes additional time needed to correct papers, address student concerns, and grade exams; not to mention preparing for and teaching the class in the first place. The time required for those tasks alone are enough to keep



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