Monday, October 8, 2012

Cheating or Collaborating

Cheater Cheater Pumpkin Eater: A Collection of HS Cheating Stories

Two of the most creative ways I've seen students cheat didn't involve technology. (Both of these happened at our local high school when my older son, now 25, was a student)

1. Big Watch Face: Student wrote VERY tiny on  a circular piece of paper and taped it to the back of his watch, just turning the watch over on his wrist during the test.
2.  Water Bottle: Student carefully peeled off the water bottle label, wrote all of the answers on the inside of the label, put the label back on the water bottle.

In neither case did the school ban watches or water.

We read almost daily about cheating scandals in schools, all schools, private, public, elementary to college.  It almost always involves a standardized, high stakes test of some kind. Each article contains a "why kids cheat"  they might too stressed,  have no ethics (look at all the music they download illegally)...or "teachers wouldn't cheat if it weren't for the pressure etc.."

This week at #PBLChat we are going to talk about "Cheating or Collaboration".  Are the lines just blurry for our kids?  Did I cheat because this blog post was inspired by a student blog post.  Jake, aka @hockey_ref12 , was inspired by this article "Students Don't Cheat, They Collaborate".

WAY back in the 80's when I was a Frankfort Hotdog , I used to do my Algebra II homework with my BFF at the time who is a CPA today.  We would compare answers (she had more correct ones than I did) compare our work to find my error, I would figure out just where I messed up, fix the error and then the correct answer. I remember doing this secretly and FEELING like it was cheating. Was it?  When we had to think of topics for speeches in our speech class and I could think of a million and she couldn't think of one, was it cheating when I gave her topic ideas? We also kept this a secret, feeling like it was cheating. Is sharing ideas cheating?

When we would  host student panels during visitor tours of Zebra New Tech High ( yes, my high school mascot was a Hotdog and my children's was a Zebra, SO? ) I vividly remember a visiting administrator asking:

"With all of the technology, isn't it easy to cheat?"

A student, Sean, answered WAY to quickly and loudly. "

NO, you can't cheat at all."

The room cracked up, since his quick answer meant he had definitely TRIED!
The administrator followed up with:

"Why is it hard, do your teachers have some kind of software? "

Sean answered:
"No, you just can't cheat when you really have to think and defend answers during presentations or when you are writing. Filling in the blank is the way to go for cheating and we NEVER get to do that here.

So click over and check out Jake's blog post, leave him a comment and please join us for this student requested #PBLChat topic on Tuesday 9pm EST! (If you miss the chat or read this when it is over, we archive the chats here )

No comments:

Post a Comment