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Using Technology To Cheat

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Ethics in an Academic Environment ЁC Using Technology to Cheat

Ethics in an Academic Environment ЁC Using Technology to Cheat

One of the more pressing issues that are being discussed in the academic environment, whether traditional or online are ethics in regard to cheating. In years past, cheating was confined to writing notes in the palm of the hand. Now, in this day and age of modern technology, cheating has advanced to include use of the computer, Internet, cellular telephone, and the calculator. Even though these methods are readily available to anyone, using any one of these methods is ethically unacceptable in all academic environments.

Students in the academic environment have used cheating for years. However, recently cheating has increased and is continuing to do so. According to Olt, M. (2002) she stated,

Recent studies are indicative that academic dishonesty is on the rise. For example, McMurtry (2001) cites a 1998 survey from WhoЎЇs Who Among American High School Students which reported that out of 3,123 students, 80 percent of them ÐŽ®admitted to cheating on an exam, a 10-point increase since the question was first asked 15 years ago (Bushweller 1999) ( 2).

These statistics clearly point out the frequency of cheating in schools today.

There are four common methods students are using to cheat. These methods are: a computer, in the form of a lap top or desk top; Internet; cellular telephone; and the calculator. A computer is ÐŽoan electronic device for the storage and processing of informationÐŽ± (Computer Hardware Micro-scope, 2004). Many classrooms are equipped with computers and the computers are equipped with various programs. Some of these programs enable the students to write cheat notes such as Microsoft Word or do math problems such as Microsoft Excel. The lap top and desk top do the same functions; however, the lap top is portable while the desk top is stationary.

The next method is the Internet. The Internet is,

A global network connecting millions of computers. More than 100 countries are linked into exchanges of data, news and opinions. Each Internet computer, called a host, is independent. Its operators can choose which Internet services to use and which local services to make available to the global Internet community. (Precise Cyber Forensics, 2004, p. 1).

Students can use the Internet to pay for academic papers on almost all subjects; find answers for mathematical exams such as algebra, geometry, or trigonometry; and a host of other things.

A third method is the calculator. A calculator is, ÐŽoA device for performing calculations. Although modern calculators often incorporate a general purpose computer, the device as a whole is designed for ease of use to perform specific operations, rather than for flexibility. Also, modern calculators are more portable than most computersÐŽ± (Calculator, 2006, 1). A calculator is a useful tool because it can assist a student with math homework. On the other hand, a student can use this same useful homework tool as a means of cheating on a math exam.

The fourth method students use to cheat academically is the cellular telephone. Modern day cellular telephones are no longer used for making telephone calls only. The telephones are now equipped with features such as a calculator, a tipping calculator, text messaging, picture messaging, the capability of taking pictures, and notepad. All of these features can be used by students to assist them in cheating on exams.

The Computer

Colossus, the first computer, created in 1943 could process 5,000 characters a second (BT Group, n.d.). With this great creation came many advantages. Computers are a part of our everyday lives. Computers are used in completing everyday choices such as making a grocery list and paying bills. Not only that but they play a major role in making decisions in multi-billion dollar boardrooms. Computers are lifesavers for many people; however, at what cost when it comes to our youth and their education?

Schools are using computers and teaching students how to use them at an early age. Before the computer, people relied on the public library and other peopleЎЇs experiences to gather information. There is no argument that because of the computer, knowledge is right at a personЎЇs fingertips. The birth of the computer has made it easy to gather information pertaining to any subject. Most researchers agree that there is an increase in academic misconduct in high school and middle school (Conradson & Hernandez-Ramos, 2004).

As technology advances so have students of today. Students are long past the times of copying off of another studentЎЇs paper. Students today live in a high tech world; no wonder they use the computer to cheat. While academic cheating is not uncommon, the computer has made it, like so many other things, easier than ever to do. This is sad but true and has held true in the classroom. Over the years, students have begun to cheat with the help of the computer. In the article Practical Assessments, Research and Evaluation, McCabe states that,ÐŽ± Computers have redefined younger kidsЎЇ concept of what constitutes cheatingÐŽ± (Conradson & Hernandez-Ramos, 2004, 3). Who would have thought that in 1943 a machine that would track and manage large amounts of data would some day be used to cheat!

The Internet

Of course we all know that the birth of the computer brought many technical creations. One technical creation that is used day in and day out is the Internet. J.C. R. Licklinder envisioned a set of globally connected computers that would enable people to access data and programs from other sites (Leiner et al., 2003). His vision would later become known as the Internet. The Internet is defined as,ÐŽ± a global network that connects millions of computersÐŽ± (Internet,



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