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How to avoid classroom cheating

Technology presents cheating challenges and opportunities

avoiding-cheatingSnapchat—snap a photo with a smartphone and the image disappears 10 seconds after the receiver opens it. Great for selfies, but also for sending answers on a test. The evidence of cheating, though not the effects, is gone within 10 seconds.

Can teachers keep pace with the inventiveness, the sheer creativity of cheaters, often using the latest tech gadgets they use for accessing their electronic textbooks?

Like doctors who want to heal, educators choose teaching because they love to learn and want to share that passion with anybody, especially the young.

For teachers, it is emotionally and intellectually exhausting to chase cheaters who obstruct the learning process, who play a game of accumulating points for non-learning. Grading a research paper can become a legal interpretation of what plagiarism is, placing burden of proof on the teacher, providing due process for the student, and complying with the school policy on cheating. Helicopter parents are known to bring lawyers to conferences about a student accused of plagiarizing. The real tragedy: students lose the opportunity to learn.

(Next page: Steps to avoid cheating)

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