This makes perfect sense if you think about it, but it’s good to have data to back it up. A study of students in the U.K. has found cheating in record numbers, with the caveat that high-tech toys like mobile phones, PDAs, and even iPods are being used for nefarious means.
The study found that in the past 12 months, the number of students who have been caught cheating has increased 27 percent. Of those, a full 25 percent were using their mobile phones to do their dirty work.
In response to these troubling numbers, some experts in the U.K. have recommended that students take their exams in rooms lined with metal. That kind of security would certainly eliminate most kinds of mobile phone or PDA reception, but what about iPods? They certainly don’t need to find a cellular signal in order to operate. They can, however, be used to store information, as both text files and as MP3s. It’s quite possible that students have audio cheat sheets stored on their MP3 players.
What to do? Well, teachers have to be more vigilant overall, especially in the case of portable electronics devices. This most certainly includes mobile phones, which are so much more than phones these days. We wouldn’t put it past an enterprising student to take pictures of key pages of a textbook, store them on his mobile phone, and page through them during a test.