I have just been reading a scary article about the growth of cheating technology that is rife in many universities around the world. A few years ago, it was mobile phones that were the chief culprit, but all that has changed, it seems. There are some companies that blatantly advertise miniature ear pieces that are completely undetectable and are actually advertised online. The following is a direct "copy and paste" from such a site:
The essential invisible earpiece for cheating on tests.
Cheat on tests with no worry of being caught.
No cables: the sound reaches your ear wirelessly.
All accessories included--you will only need your cell phone.
Also, totally compatible with any MP3 player.
Instructions: open it, turn it on and pass the test.
I an not going to advertise this appalling practice by giving details of the website. Furthermore, the problem seems to be, for the moment anyway, confined to universities. Nonetheless, it is only a matter of time before AS and A2 exams are infiltrated. It used to be said that with the growth of miniaturisation, digital media and advanced technology, examinations were the only safe method of ensuring students' work was entirely their own. Even the exam hall now seems to be under threat.
However, for those of us who still believe in morality and ethics (the vast majority, I sincerely hope) there is some other and better news this week. Readers of my blog may recall that I recently posted an article about people in the UK and US who would write university student essays and assignments for a fee. The British government this week announced plans to outlaw this practice and will be assigning funds to invest in sophisticated means of identifying the culprits and putting them out of business.
Education, like any other profession, attracts its fair share of undesirables who prey upon those who are feeling insecure or unable to cope with the demands placed upon them. Cheating in any form, will never be an acceptable practice in any area of the education process. Once identified, it must be resisted at all costs and eradicated completely.