Banning baseball caps during tests was obvious — students were writing the answers under the brim. Then, schools started banning cell phones, realizing students could text message the answers to each other.

Now, schools across the country are targeting digital media players as a potential cheating device. Devices including iPods and Zunes can be hidden under clothing, with just an earbud and a wire snaking behind an ear and into a shirt collar to give them away, school officials say.

“It doesn’t take long to get out of the loop with teenagers,” said Mountain View High School Principal Aaron Maybon. “They come up with new and creative ways to cheat pretty fast.”

Conversely, Duke University in North Carolina began providing iPods to its students three years ago as part of an experiment to see how the devices could be used to enhance learning.

The music players proved to be invaluable for some courses, including music, engineering and sociology classes, said Tim Dodd, executive director of The Center for Academic Integrity at Duke. At Duke, incidents of cheating have declined over the past 10 years, largely because the community expects its students to have academic integrity, he said.

“Trying to fight the technology without a dialogue on values and expectations is a losing battle,” Dodd said. “I think there’s kind of a backdoor benefit here. As teachers are thinking about how technology has corrupted, they’re also thinking about ways it can be used productively.”

Nice to hear of someone getting beyond Luddite responses to technology used for ill-gotten gains. More typical, I’m afraid, is the simplistic “solution” with no consideration of a discussion about ethics.

You do recall “ethics” – right?

  1. catbeller says:

    It was good enough for Bush during his debates. Unless that was a Titan Parasite riding on his spine.

  2. sdf says:

    I remember writing numerous exams where you could bring any texts or notes you wanted for lookup tables/etc. The catch is, the questions expected you to really know your stuff. These types of exams usually killed anyone who hadn’t studied – exams should be geared in this direction.

  3. Bono says:

    iCheat. Love it!

  4. Angel H. Wong says:

    Cheating trains them for the real world, if they can get away with it then they will be able to accomplish many things.

  5. Dr. Egg says:

    Oh give me a break. If you actually need to cheat to get ahead in our public school system, well, I’d rather not say what you might be. I graduated high school 2 years ago with AP classes and a bunch of college credits under my belt and I almost never studied for any tests and my homework took maybe an hour to do each night. I ended up with a 3.4, spending much of my time sleeping at home or working on hobbies that had nothing to do with school! School was just a minor chore for me. That is how low the standards have become due to the “No child left behind” act.

  6. reelgoodcheeter says:

    back in my day the weapon of choice was the TI-85 calculator. it allowed anybody to write easily a tidy little program storing all the equations and info one needed for an exam.

  7. Steve S says:

    “Cheating trains them for the real world, if they can get away with it then they will be able to accomplish many things.”

    Like being a Lawyer or even President of the United States!

  8. John Henri Allyn says:

    We use morris code with pencil taps

    stop that

  9. TJGeezer says:

    #8 – or an MIT dean

    #7 – Sometimes a science class would let us use slide rules if we knew how. But then I had to walk 10 miles uphill to school and back every day, sonny.

  10. BubbaRay says:

    10, Hey, TJGeezer, [off topic]
    I still use a circular slide rule when flying. 30 years ago it was called a ‘flight computer’. Nothing like a lightning strike or dead calculator batteries to really screw up navigation. And when all that expensive nav and comm gear fails, dead reckoning and a slide rule still work. I know, I’m still here.

    At least I had a bicycle to get the 8 miles to school. And yes, it was uphill both ways, even in the snow and rain. 😉

  11. Don Marsh says:

    Make the little miscreants take their nests naked. That should get rid of all the distractions…

  12. Floyd says:

    #12: Heh. If technology can be used to cheat in school (or the real world), it will be used that way.

    #2: Open book tests are indeed tough, but they test the student’s general knowledge very well. Take home tests (common in universities, especially grad school) also test the student’s ability to find information about the subject. We usually had to head for the college library for take home tests.

  13. Steve says:

    I must say, as a professor, I have already thought about these uses of technology, and even blogged on it! (see for my thoughts.) Bottom line to me is: if the student(s) take time to dictate or type in the extensive notes required to be ready for my exams, and if they have the ability to move quickly through the material, then learning (my real goal) has already occurred.

    And besides, the honest students often find the ability to tune out the world, and tune in to their tunes, helpful.

  14. Steve says:

    I pretty much do what #6 is saying, minus the AP classes since I can’t take any yet. I get A’s, B’s, and some C’s in most of my classes, not because they’re hard, but generally because I procrastinate too much and I’m very lazy. Our graduation tests we took this year were definitely only around 7th grade level.

  15. michael Choi says:

    I am a fucking peice of fucking shitshit. i do my mom evry fucking day. My ass is bigger then any1 elses!! pnspnspnspnspnspsn go fuck yourself

  16. I am a fucking peice of fucking shitshit. i do my mom evry fucking day. My ass is bigger then any1 elses!! pnspnspnspnspnspsn go fuck yourself :


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