Cell Phones and Cheating

Our high school students are permitted to carry cell phone on campus. We haven’t had a major problem yet, but recently heard of a case where students used cell phones to cheat during an exam. How do we keep up with this?

Approximately 1/3 of all teens in the U.S. have cell phones. Although they once almost universally prohibited them, many high schools now allow students to openly carry and use cell phones at school, often in response to serious events that have taken place on or near campus. Although educators anticipated obvious problems such as phones ringing during class, they’ve discovered more subtle misuses, including the use of text messaging during an exam to get answers to test questions from someone outside the building.

You can’t prevent all misuses, but you can take steps to reduce this activity through your Acceptable Use Policy and its enforcement. Although you won’t be able to cover every possible abuse, cell phones and their use on campus should be addressed in the AUP; and then both students and teachers need to review and understand the provisions. Specific instruction about the ethical use of all technologies, clear expectations, and policy enforcement will reduce problems.

Submitted by: Susan Brooks-Young

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