Schools Beginning to Ban iPods as Cheating-Prevention Effort

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Date: Friday, April 27th, 2007, 13:11
Category: News

fullipod.jpg
School officials in Meridian, Ohio appear are taking the next step in cracking down on cheating in the classroom by banning the presence of iPods and digital media players during tests. The devices, which can be hidden under clothing with an earbud, have come into play as the next means of cheating after students have been caught text messaging answers to each other or having hints printed under the brims of their hats.
“It doesn’t take long to get out of the loop with teenagers,” said Mountain View High School Principal Aaron Maybon. “They come up with new and creative ways to cheat pretty fast.”
According to an Associated Press article on Yahoo! News, Mountain View High School has recently enacted a ban on digital media players such as the iPod when it was discovered that students had been downloading formulas and other test answers to them.
Specifically, students were found using iPod-compatible voice recorders to record test answers as song files, then load the answers onto the iPod and play them back during tests. Others had hidden answers into text files disguised as song lyrics.
“You can just thread the earbud up your sleeve and then hold it to your ear like you’re resting your head on your hand,” said 17-year-old senior Kelsey Nelson, who used to listen to her iPod after completing a test. “I think you should still be able to use iPods. People who are going to cheat are still going to cheat, with or without them.”
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fullipod.jpg
School officials in Meridian, Ohio appear are taking the next step in cracking down on cheating in the classroom by banning the presence of iPods and digital media players during tests. The devices, which can be hidden under clothing with an earbud, have come into play as the next means of cheating after students have been caught text messaging answers to each other or having hints printed under the brims of their hats.
“It doesn’t take long to get out of the loop with teenagers,” said Mountain View High School Principal Aaron Maybon. “They come up with new and creative ways to cheat pretty fast.”
According to an Associated Press article on Yahoo! News, Mountain View High School has recently enacted a ban on digital media players such as the iPod when it was discovered that students had been downloading formulas and other test answers to them.
Specifically, students were found using iPod-compatible voice recorders to record test answers as song files, then load the answers onto the iPod and play them back during tests. Others had hidden answers into text files disguised as song lyrics.
“You can just thread the earbud up your sleeve and then hold it to your ear like you’re resting your head on your hand,” said 17-year-old senior Kelsey Nelson, who used to listen to her iPod after completing a test. “I think you should still be able to use iPods. People who are going to cheat are still going to cheat, with or without them.”
“It doesn’t take long to get out of the loop with teenagers,” said Mountain View High School Principal Aaron Maybon. “They come up with new and creative ways to cheat pretty fast.”
Other school districts have enacted different policies regarding digital media devices as they saw fit. A teacher at San Gabriel High School in West Covina, California recently confiscated a student’s iPod which contained test answers while schools in Seattle, Washington, have also banned the players. In Canada, St. Mary’s College in Ontario, banned both cell phones and digital media players this year while Australia’s University of Tasmania banned iPods, electronic dictionaries, CD players and spell-checking devices.
Other institutions have taken a different approach, Duke University in North Carolina having provided iPods to its student body three years ago to test how they’d be used. According to Tim Dodd, executive director for Duke’s Center for Academic Integrity, the iPods have proven “invaluable” for certain music, engineering and sociology courses. Dodd cited that incidents of cheating have declined over the past 10 years.
“Trying to fight the technology without a dialogue on values and expectations is a losing battle,” Dodd said. “I think there’s kind of a backdoor benefit here. As teachers are thinking about how technology has corrupted, they’re also thinking about ways it can be used productively.”
If you’ve seen anything similar to this or had friends who’ve experienced it in their schools or universities, let us know.

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