US teens use smart phones for cheating: study

Jun 19, 2009

A study released on Thursday shows US teens are using smart phones and the Internet to cheat at school work or exams.

Slightly more than half of teens surveyed for a Common Sense Media poll admitted to using the Internet to cheat and more than a third of with mobile telephones said they had used them to cheat.

Approximately 65 percent of all teens surveyed said they had heard or seen other students using mobile telephones to cheat at school.

"This poll shows the unintended consequence of these versatile technologies is that they've made cheating easier," the study concluded.

"Digital life, by its nature, is distant, hard to track, and often anonymous, which can diminish the impact of action and consequences."

Cheating tactics include storing notes on mobile telephones for reference during exams and exchanging text messages about answers while taking tests.

Teens also told of using smart phones to search the Internet for answers during exams and of using the devices to send pictures of tests to friends scheduled to take the same class later in a day.

Some 36 percent of students said that plagiarizing from the Internet for school assignments was not a serious offense, and a fifth of teens polled did not consider it cheating.

Only half of the students surveyed considered mobile telephone or Internet cheating "serious offenses," and a significant number of teens didn't deem those tactics cheating at all.

One in four students said it wasn't cheating to store notes on mobile telephones and peek at the information during exams.

"Though it's debatable whether or not it's truly cheating, nearly half (48 percent) of teens with cell phones call or text friends to warn them about pop quizzes," authors of the study observed.

"And there's little debate among teens; just 16 percent say this is cheating and a serious offense and 46 percent say it's just helping out a friend."

appear to believe that are being used for cheating, but that other people's children are doing it and certainly not their offspring, according to the survey.

"Parents are shockingly ready to believe that cell phone cheating is even more widespread than teens believe," study authors noted.

"But, perhaps not surprisingly, almost no one is willing to believe their child is the culprit."

Teens with typically send 440 text messages weekly, with 110 of those digitized missives being shot off during classes, according to the study. Students said they routinely ignored bans on mobile phone use at school.

"Perhaps because they don't realize just how widespread cell phone use in schools is, parents aren't clamoring for stricter policies in school," the study surmised.

(c) 2009 AFP

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3 / 5 (2) Jun 19, 2009
The test is to see if they can come up with the answers. In todays world of social networking, isn't the biggest lesson learning how to find an answer to a question?

This is preparing them for the real world. If you can find some way of solving the problem by using the internet or asking a friend, the job is still done. Most work today is just find the right form, print it, fill it out and file it anyways.
not rated yet Jun 19, 2009
Lord_jag you make a valid point.

Another point to make is that the classic way of teaching required of students to take questions and later comeback with answers. In the opposite sense, I have a friend who is majoring in Graphic Design. His teachers always keep up with his projects' development, hence knowing that he is working and not coping. If teachers take a more involved approach to teaching students are less likely to cheat and plagiarize because first the opportunities will be less and second there will be less need when the student is doing actual work.

Technology is here to stay. Instead of trying to overcome it, we can make it work for the students by using it to continuously communicate about school work. As I said, students who already know the answer to a question because they are working on it will less likely want to plagiarize since they already know the answer.
not rated yet Jul 20, 2009
A test is a test. It's to see if a person can comprehend the information and apply it to an exam. Using of a cell phone during a test just tells me that the individual is not ready for the test or did not comprehend the material.