So I read today on MSNBC.com about a school district banning i-pods from the schools, fearing that students are using the devices to cheat on tests. Apparently students are hiding cheat sheets among the lyrics files and even going as far as recording info and playing it back as they take the test.
Here’s my take on this: I am impressed and amazed at the creative ways students will come up with in order to have access to information and I have to ask the question – WHY AREN’T WE FINDING A WAY TO HARNESS THIS CREATIVITY AND DESIRE TO ACCESS INFORMATION BY STUDENTS RATHER THAN STIFLING IT????
I would argue that rather than banning the devices, schools develop an ethical policy regarding access to information in the 21st century, and EDUCATE students about it. When students were creating paper and pencil cheat-sheets, we did not ban these items from the schools – we simply instructed the students to put all of the materials away until after the test and that their use during the test would consitute cheating. Why aren’t we having these direct conversations with students about electronic devices?
Another arguement could be made against the outdated mode of testing most of our students endure in which students are not allowed to access information resources during an assessment in favor of one that allows students to access information to enrich the assessment. In my position, it is more important to know HOW to find out the answers to questions – why aren’t we assessing students on this skill?