Tuesday, July 21, 2009

High Tech Cheating?

HighTech Cheating? Students See it Differently.... a wonderful post worth reading @ eschoolnews.com

The message is that a new culture necessitates a new "paradigm of teaching." Those teachers in the trenches know this all too well. We didn't write the column, but we have seen the new digital native evolve before our eyes. New appendages have grown attached to the ear and surfacing out of the pocket. These appendages connect the once analog student, to the information highway where all sources of knowledge can be found.

We need to create lessons where students have to use these resources to create knowledge products-- not recite, regurgitate or resuscitate the facts required to pass an exam.

The heart of the Common Sense Media report, "Hi-Tech Cheating: Cell Phones and Cheating in Schools," is the belief that "versatile technologies have made cheating easier." The report cites as an example that 20 percent of cell phone users ages 13-18 say they have "always/often/sometimes/rarely" used their cell phone to search the Internet for answers during a quiz or test, 17 percent have taken photos of test questions to send to friends, 25 percent have texted a friend about answers, and 25 percent have stored notes or information on their phone to look at during tests." (Evans)
We can be heartened by the statistic reported that 79% of the students at least believe it is wrong. If more tests evolved into knowledge products then we wouldn't have to worry about the appendage in the pocket. They can look information up 24-7 on an electronic database as well as Google, which are both accessible from a higher order phone.
For those educators that are fighting the cell phone tsunami, consider the paragraph below from the aforementioned eschoolnews article:
"These "free-agent learners" [students] have, to some extent, given up on their school's ability to prepare them for the world and have stepped up to assume front-line responsibility for their own learning. In a focus group last spring, I learned from students in a science class that they were regularly going online after school to check on the accuracy of what their teacher lectured about in class that day. Their teacher actually encouraged this behavior as a way for her students to gain valuable information and media literacy skills. By the way, those students in that science class were only in sixth grade, and already they were taking responsibility for their own learning process." (Evans)
So before we amputate an appendage, ask yourself: Can I change the examination to a knowledge creation or manipulation?

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