We see it walking down the street, in the mall, at the dinner table: Kids today seem to be constantly texting. A survey of youth from Textplus shows teens are sending text messages during the school day, as well. And what they’re sending might be considered by some as high-tech cheating.
According to survey results, 43 percent of teens 13 to 17 say they text during class… and nearly 80 percent of say they’ve never gotten in trouble with their teachers. But perhaps just as troubling – some kids are using their cell phones and iPods to cheat.
“[Students] will be looking at the test, and they will just have their iPod on their desk, and they will be scrolling down the information on it,” says 16-year-old Danny.
Because the latest iPods display word documents, some students will download cheat sheets.
“I know somebody who does it all the time, and he hasn’t gotten caught yet,” says Carlton, 18.
Other kids will speak the answers into their iPods while studying, then play them back during a test.
“It is kind of obvious, but teachers don’t really notice. They just think you are listening to music,” says Danny.
“Except for maybe the young teachers, I don’t think the older teachers know much about iPods or any new technology,” adds Joie, 16.
While many texts may be about weekend plans or the latest gossip, according to teens surveyed by Textplus, 22 percent say they have texted answers to classmates… and 20 percent said they themselves had been “saved” by such a text.
Still, some kids say that cheating with an iPod is uncommon, partly because it takes too much work.
Nick, 18, says it’s just too much trouble. “If you are going to be wasting your time finding out how to get answers on an iPod, you might as well just study.”
Blake, 16, says there are easier ways to cheat. “I’d rather just go in and copy off of someone else.”
Experts say parents should make sure their kids understand that cheating has consequences.
For example, says 18-year-old Marquis, “I heard of some kid who was taking the SATs and his sister recently passed it. She texted him the answers or something, and he got expelled.”
Amber, 16, says the biggest deterrent is her own conscious. “It makes you feel guilty. It makes me feel guilty when I cheat.”
What Do You Think?
- What, in your opinion, is the best reason not to cheat?
- Have you ever plagiarized in on purpose or by accident? What were the consequences?
- What do you think is the biggest deterrent to keep students from plagiarizing?