Cheating in a Digital Age

A recent blog post on edudemic, “How Has Technology Affected Cheating And Plagiarism?” got me thinking.

First, it uses as awesome infographic to deliver most of the content. Infographics are amazing tools for delivering content.

Second, this content is a compelling argument in itself for pushing schools further towards taking responsibility for teaching digital literacy and digital responsibility. By not teaching about plagiarism in a digital world in school, schools are basically forgoing their role in teaching students academic responsibility. Let’s embrace this opportunity!

Third, some of the concerns raised in this post are, in my mind, not necessarily bad. Is it cheating or collaboration? Students see collaboration as a good thing. How do we draw the line between collaboration and cheating? This is definitely a grey area, but one that both students and teachers can explore.

Fourth, another post on edudemic discusses Siri, the iPhone 4S’s “personal assistant:”

This new tool makes it easier to cheat than ever before. It’s not too different from doing a Google search but it makes it easier and faster which means it could be quickly used to secure answers to a test without anyone knowing.

The post goes on, “easier access to resources could make students reliant on the technology and not on comprehension.”

Yes, this could happen. But really, doesn’t this give us an opportunity? If a concept is easy enough to google, then perhaps we don’t need to spend much time on it. Go further. Do analysis, create something, design it, find ways to assess knowledge in ways other than can be completed through Google.

“If you can Google it, it’s not a good assignment.”
-Brian J. Nichols

Brian Nichols is a PhD. student in 21st Century Learning. Where’d I get this quote? From Twitter. From an awesome sounding conference, Edscape.

One thought on “Cheating in a Digital Age

  1. This business of “cheating” is quite interesting to me. I thought when the Atlanta scandal broke (scores changed by staff to short circuit NCLB) that we should have hailed the staff for their civil disobedience! Sometimes I feel that way about when students “cheat” on testing, homework, and assignments. Students have so little to say about their learning that I blame the adults and the system more than the students. How about the banks, or wall street or the wealthy in this society? Aren’t they the real “cheaters”? Was Frederick Douglass a “cheater” for taking advantage where he could of an impersonal and oppressive system? I know we could write on and on about this, but I feel very strongly that we who “create and control” the schools need to think more deeply about issues like this and we need new frames of reference. Sorry I went on.

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