In the wee morning hours, you’ll find them sitting there huddled around a table or crouched around a tight spot on the floor. There they sit “sharing” their homework.
Yep, some call it sharing. Some call it comparing. Others call it helping. Many call it studying. Most educators would call it cheating.
This scene repeats itself at lunch and in the hallways during passing periods where it is often the sharing of what took place in earlier classes, what was on the quiz or test, and what was or wasn’t collected.
Maybe we should ban their ability to connect? Maybe we should ban their ability to socialize? Maybe we should ban their ability to talk? Maybe we should ban notebooks, paper assignments, and brains that store this information that can easily be transferred to other students?
Why do we barely bat an eye at this, yet we quickly jump to all the “cheating” that will take place if we allow mobile learning devices? Why do we support the banning of mobile learning devices to protect the sanctity of “your” classroom, yet the realities of what could take place with these devices is already happening in analog means?
Maybe we should ban bad assignments and poor assessments, and reallocate class time for collaboration, inquiry, project-based learning, and innovation. Maybe we should ban learning in isolation and keep in mind that today’s cheating is tomorrow’s collaboration.
Technology hasn’t created these problems. It has simply brought to light things that have always been there. It has simply brought these discussions back to the forefront of our thinking. Stop thinking it is a technology problem, get to the root of the problem, and utilize the knowledge we have about what it means to be a good educator.
cc licensed flickr photo by Brunel University: http://flickr.com/photos/bruneluniversity/3720174796/