ts have been given – but technology has now literally put cheating in the hands of students.
The New York school system, with a 1.1 million student population, has banned cell phones in an attempt to curtail distractions and cheating in the learning environment.
But with the arrival and popular use of Apple’s iPhone, cheating has been revolutionized.
“I’ve used a cell phone to cheat before,” one sophomore general studies major admitted.
If technology enables cheaters, the tools are readily available. According to a San Diego-based Web site, about 82 percent of Americans have cell phones.
What some instructors may not realize is cell phones are more than just telephones. Most are nothing short of a handheld computer with Internet access.
Just a few of the applications that can be added to the iPhone are a metric conversion table, a Spanish dictionary and even Google to search for the answers to any question.
Even with this new technology, reports of cheating have declined in the past decade, according to the Center for Academic Integrity.
“A lot of places don’t have Internet on campus for my iPod, hence no cheating,” Nick Renso, freshman general studies major, said.
The difference in the new iPod and the iPhone is only that an iPod does not have a phone built in. It still has many of the same features, as do other brand name devices like Palm Pilot and Blackberry.
Many schools already have policies on cell phone usage and even some teachers implement their own classroom policies. But the emphasis is usually only on talking and texting. One of the reasons could be because most students do not have iPhones. They just have regular phones.
“If you know what you’re doing, having a cell phone can work out real nice for you in class,” freshman English major Kevin Persons said.
Some would argue that if a student is going to cheat then they will find a way.
“You can’t stop a cheater. People that are gonna cheat, are gonna cheat. There’s nothing anyone can do about it,” nursing student Bronson Simmons said.
A student could tell an instructor that he is listening to music to relax during the exam while instead listening to answers he has read onto his MP3 player.
In addition, the way some teachers handle cheaters may not discourage it. Not every teacher that catches a student cheating enforces the proper punishment or even a grade modification.
This may affect the attitudes of students like broadcasting major Lavanne Drayton.
“Cheaters are the most successful people in life,” Drayton said.
But the Student Affairs Department takes allegations of cheating seriously. If a student is caught cheating, that student can face failure of the class or expulsion.
The best advice is just not to cheat.