Cheating Differently – Schools start banning iPods on test day

by James

You can kinda understand banning cellphones during tests because of the ability to pass notes via text message with answers. But iPods? With little statistics to go on, principals from all over the country are telling their students to leave their digital media players home on test day.

It seems that these latest high tech cheating devices for high schools students are capable of being hidden, and can contain gigabytes of test information that student can merely click, play, and write the answer to.

Students can use the “note taking” audio feature, or simply hide written answers in the lyrics sections. And according to USA Today, even including a video clip of Schoolhouse rock can help to get you over that hump when trying to remember how a bill makes it’s way through Congress.

And the ban is starting to catch on in colleges as well. Although, ironically, Duke University provide iPods to its students with the goal of enhancing the learning experience.

Many disagree with the banning practice on ethical reasons, choosing to believe that students who cheat will always find ways to cheat and trying to minimize it without focusing on instilling ethics and values is a losing cause.

Either way, it seems that educators are learning that technology in education can be a two-edged sword.

12 reviews or comments

Jodi Says: April 29, 2007 at 2:14 pm

I remember the days when you would just lean across the aisle and ask your friend what the answer was or write a couple of answers down on a small piece of paper. No wait better yet just let your calculator do it for you, dummies.

chris Says: April 29, 2007 at 2:24 pm

I know another “loosing” cause…

Neagle Says: April 29, 2007 at 3:45 pm

Sad thing is that calculators are mostly now encouraged during testing in many colleges. I believe a good ass kicking is deserved if you sit in a classroom with any kind of headset on unless its an amplifier or your reviewing lecture notes during a study period. It is going to be interesting the next generation of new hires in the work place.

chris Says: April 29, 2007 at 5:44 pm

Hey, thanks for the edit 🙂

chris Says: April 29, 2007 at 5:47 pm

Seriously, though, that is true about the calculators. Where I teach, the kids cling to those things like mad. They will ask for one even though they have a pencil and paper right in front of them.

Jeremy Says: April 30, 2007 at 3:16 am

I remember when I was in school, we were not allowed to use a calculator until we proved that we could figure out problems on paper first. I taught electronics for four years and it is sad to watch these kids expect everything to be handed to them. They do not feel like they should have to work for anything. I agree with Neagle, ass kickings are needed.

tecwzrd Says: April 30, 2007 at 11:31 am

Education is quickly becoming a joke to students and the adage that most ask “how is this going to help me in the real world” is becoming more and more true.

It’s not “what” you know IMO but that you “know how to find it” that is truly important in life and the internet/technology is rapidly making vast amounts of information available with a quick internet search where as in the past it took hours upon hours of research at the library.

Basic math and spoken/written language skills are still a must but considering how radical the job market will change over the next 10-20 years they need to stop focusing on how to “stop cheaters” and how to better prepare our next generation for the workforce.

Amazingly (in the U.S.A) the Inflation-Adjusted Spending per student has doubled in the last 40 years yet the scores continue to decline.

CharlieJ Says: May 4, 2007 at 8:58 am

You got it all wrong. Accepting cheating is accepting morally WRONG behavior. Also, depending on the Internet for knowledge is a very dumb idea. We, as human beings, need to KNOW things. The Internet is rife with fraudulent information, so trusting what you find in the top 5 Google results is a good way to find yourself in a world of hurt.
Kids need to be taught proper ethics. They need to know that knowledge is a good thing and that cheating is a bad thing. Critical thinking skills are what kids need — not the Internet.

tecwzrd Says: May 4, 2007 at 10:25 am

I never said that cheating should be accepted, just that it’s hard to control the ones that are going to do it and they could focus more on better preparing our next generation for the workforce. “Moral behavior” is best taught by parents & church IMO.

Critical thinking skills (i.e. problem solving) are helpful but honestly how much trigonometry, biology, Chemistry, ect.. courses do you remember from HS unless you directly work in a field that uses it.

I’m an accountant and worked in IT for years before that and everything I know (which I’m paid well for) was completely “self taught” both from tons of reading in libraries and on the internet. I breezed through school and never cheated but also learned very little that I use today.

The interned is filled with misinformation but learning to filter out the bad is key to successfully gathering knowledge from it.

What I enjoy most from the internet is that you learn from people who have actually done what you’re trying to learn and the mistakes they’ve made along the way. You also learn multiple ways of accomplishing the same goal which is typically not taught in class rooms.

alchemiotaku Says: May 13, 2007 at 12:54 pm

I agree with tecwzrd. I’m a freshman in high school and get mostly B’s without the use of cheating. I highly doubt I’m going to need to know every detail of WWII in the future and I’m never going to need to know the parts of a heart outside of science class. The schools should be teaching us how to filter misleading info from websites. We’ll need that. Sure, some job fields will require things we learn in school, but they should be optional classes. I’m learning nothing from biology that I’ll ever need and all it does is lower my GPA cause it’s the only class I don’t do well in. The only problem with the idea of having us only take classes we’ll need is the fact that many people don’t know what they want to do, but they can probably judge what /type/ of field they wanna go into by the time they’re a freshman or sophmore. Schools also want us to think a certain way. Look at the OGT (Ohio Graduation Test). It wants /certain/ answers. Your answer could be right, but if it’s not the answer scholars want you to have, than right isn’t good enough. Schools want us to think in a certain way and that’s not going to help us in the real world. You should memorize certain facts in the field you’re going into, but not every single fact. Besides, after saying the fact enough times, you will memorize it. Still, memorization is not as important as knowing how to filter out wrong information or ways to make finding the correct info easier. Schools should be focusing more on that than they should on how to find out how 2x+3y^2=(60+xy)^4 because, seriously, how many jobs expect you to know that advanced of math?

somedude16 Says: May 8, 2008 at 7:43 am

What the hell are they talking about with “lyrics” section? There’s no lyrics section on an iPod. Notes, yes, but even then you can only have 1000 4kb text files. It’s an inconsistent way to cheat, but you can still do it. In my opinion, it wouldn’t be the best way. There are many better ways. And besides, most schools don’t even allow you to have iPods ANY day. Doesn’t matter if your taking a test or not, you’re not allowed to have them.

Cell phones is a different story, because in my high school, if you get caught with a cell phone in class it gets taken away and you have to have your parent(s) come in and pay 5 dollars after school.

Calculators. You can even cheat with those. In my school, you’re required to have a TI-83 or TI-84 calculator. You can type stuff in there (it’s time consuming and not really worth it, but do-able) and read them off of the screen.

Not cheating in this generation is inevitable. No matter how many times teachers or superintendents try to find ways to stop and avoid cheating, we’ll find ways to do it. I don’t see why people think they can stop it altogether, because you just can’t.

alexanderrryan Says: September 12, 2011 at 4:59 am

The scientific calculators that we see today are latest inventions that came about in these segments. There are now widely used in companies and universities for calculation processes.

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