Saturday, April 30

Cheating or just smart?

There was another story in the paper today about kids using technology to cheat while taking tests. I think the set up was scanning some test questions in real time and getting the responses IMed back to them while they were still at the desk.

The headline, "Cheating or just smart?" was mine not theirs. It is reminiscent of a headline I read about a year ago when some teacher seduced some high school boys, and the caption read, "victims or just lucky?"


David Grebow said...

Clark, being a longtime fan of John Taylor Gatto, I'd have to applaud the students and give them a passing Life Grade and a Failing Course Grade. What they did was beat the socialization that goes on in schools and think outside the box, use technology in new and valuable ways, act creatively and work smarter than the Teacher.

Does the system punish their behavior? You bet. Should it be rewarded? Do we reward Entrepreneurs for the same kinds of learning and behavior? All the time. Do I remember ANYTHING I was tested on during my formal school daze? No. Am I a successful adult? Yes.

Does the test matter in the long run? Does their ability to use technology to succeed matter in the longrun? To think creatively? To take action outside what is expected and what is the norm? Show they have not been beaten by an awful mind-numbing system?

I wouldn't be surprised to see their names on company logo's 10 years from now.

(Even though the post jumped the rails on this one ... As for the Teacher (who I assume was female and attractive) seducing the high school (assume) boys, and that it was consensual (again an assumption), I should have been so lucky or born in France ...

Anonymous said...

I have mixed feelings on this. While we want students to demonstrate the learned skills of the course, the reality is that in the real world the need for memorization is minimal. In the real world, the availability of reference is commonplace.

This may demonstrate the need to innovate education to relate to the ‘real world’ and the tools that people will have outside of school.


Jim Schuyler said...

Hi, Matthew - looks like you assumed the test was a test of retention of information. But, what if it had been a "problem solving" test in which the students had to apply everything they had learned during the term to solve some problem? My background is math and engineering, and professors would pretty much let you bring in pages filled with equations if you wanted to, because what they were grading was your ability to solve a fresh problem. Would that change your opinion of their actions?

Remember the Kobyashi Maru scenario of Star Trek?

jay said...

Steve Downes made a related comment at our closing CSTD session. He suggested that grades in school should be assigned randomly, evaluating nothing at all... just like in real life.