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Students 6-12: A Correlation between Increase Cell Phone usages with Cheating Lawrence Steinberg and Jacqueline Wilson California State University, Long Beach

CELL PHONES CORRELATION WITH CHEATING 2 Introduction According to Wikipedia, cheating refers to the breaking of rules to gain advantage in a competitive situation. So when children cheat, they have an advantage over other kids. Is it fair when other students studied to excel while a few decided to cheat to achieve a goal? It is tempting to cheat because it makes difficult things seem easy---getting all the right answers on an exam. The problem is that the information needed is still not known, and it will not help you as you go further in your education, unless you continue to cheat. With that said if a student continues to cheat, what is their attitude towards cheating. Many adolescents will tell you there is nothing "wrong" with cheating. Because adolescence is a counter cultural period of growth, young people can see the adult run "system" as the enemy to oppose and also to manipulate (Pickhardt 2009). It appears that cheating does not weigh heavily on the conscience of high school students. There are various ways to cheat in school, such as: copying answers from someones paper, copying answers on a test from your classmate, copying essays from the internet, etc. Cheating in school is something that has been around for many years. It was once viewed that if you cheated, it was because you were a struggling student in that subject or just a struggling student. Cheating in school was limited before the advancement of technology. Even though students continue to cheat in school, with the advancement of technology has cheating increased? Technology has evolved to the point that computer compatibilities are found in cell phones. This means that almost every student has a cell phone with the ability to access information pertaining to any subject. With that said, what is the correlation between cell phone usages with cheating in school for students grade 6-12?

CELL PHONES CORRELATION WITH CHEATING 3 Reasons for Cheating As districts and schools continue to evolve in their academic goals and standards, students for years have found ways to cheat on assessments, no matter the subject or environment. For countless years, a schools main concern has been plagiarism, and the idea that students are able to pass off someone elses ideas as their own. So, to combat this, schools developed policies to handle situations where this occurred and provided different consequences and possible opportunities for students to learn from their mistakes and prove they are able to complete the assignments independently. However, why do students find it okay to cheat? In 2002, a national sample of 1,600 parents with students in middle and high school were surveyed about the relative importance of teaching 11 values relating to character development (Strom and Strom (2007). The value ranked highest, chosen by 91 percent of the parents as absolutely essential to teach their children, was to be honest and truthful. With this character trait valued so highly, why does cheating still occur with such frequency? What we are discovering is that there are different reasons for a gap between what parents strive to teach versus what is actually learned or performed by their children, students. The lessons or morals are not always being met for reasons perhaps only the students know. With the advancement in technology, the frequency of cell phones being owned and used by people of all ages, its becoming an increasingly difficult issue in our educational institutions. Basically, its becoming easier for them to cheat and more difficult for schools to prevent. A nationwide survey of 36,000 secondary students found that 60 percent admitted to cheating on tests and assignments. (Strom and Strom 2007) In fact, 95 percent of those students were never caught and consider themselves to be responsibly moral individuals. This problem is

CELL PHONES CORRELATION WITH CHEATING 4 not solely a domestic one, but in fact, other countries worldwide are facing a similar issue, which makes sense considering that technology is used worldwide. So, what are schools and teachers doing to stem the tide of this increasing behavior? Teachers have to devise more elaborate methods for creating and administering assessments. Now, we see the prevalence of multiple forms for an examination, giving the test on different days (which actually helps students find a way to cheat), and using technology to determine if students are plagiarizing their work. Considering that students are bringing their cell phones to schools, and if they are not being confiscated or they are not following the schools policies about leaving them off during instruction, then students can easily send assessment information to their friends quickly. In fact, they are sharing the information through the use of their phones capabilities. Students can text information over, they can take and send a picture of the assessments, upload questions and answers to websites for others to see, etc. Considering the idea that cheating, with the use of technology, more specifically the cell phone, what is the or are the motivations for doing so? Before looking at students motivations for cheating, its important to understand that this behavior is taking place around them and at higher age levels as well. There is a large number of people who are not unique to the education and professional world, who contribute to the copying and illegal distribution of software, media, and other forms of copyrighted material. So, if thats not one reason why students would find it cool to cheat, there are others. A lot of students have indicated that one strong motivation for cheating comes from their homes. Many students receive the message from their parents that only the top grades are acceptable
(Taylor, Pogrebin, & Dodge, 2003). Educators agree that a growing number of parents seem

obsessed with wanting their children to perform better than classmates, regardless of the steps

CELL PHONES CORRELATION WITH CHEATING 5 taken to get the desired results. (Baker and LeTendre 2005) There is increasing pressure on students to perform better on standardized assessments, not just by schools but their parents as well. For schools, increased test scores provide opportunities for better school funding, and for parents increased test scores mean more opportunity for reduced costs in higher education, possible scholarships, and overall prestige that their students are considered smart. Future Trends Student use of cell phone is a new area of concern in todays schools. Cell phone providers have attempted to convince parents that each child should be provided with their own cell phone for safety reason and to stay in contact with their families (Diamantes, 2010). In 2005, it was estimated that 200,000 children in the U.S. aged 5 to 9 carried cell phones. They predicted that number would double in a year. Also, for children ages 10 14, the number of cell phone carriers would hit near 11 million by 2008. (Communicator 2005) Considering this, what the research is telling us their needs to be more of an effort not just by the schools and institutions, but by the families to start instilling into the students a stronger sense of right and wrong when using their handheld mini computers or cell phones. Students take academic honesty more seriously when they see their parents and teachers make an effort to ensure fair and honest conditions for assessment. This means that both the schools and parents need to be on the same page regarding cell phone policy, limit the opportunities for students to receive mixed messages, and help them understand that although the cell phone can provide an easy way to obtain assessment information, it doesnt make it right or okay. Just like it was in the past, students will gain more from doing their own work, both in regards to intrinsic and extrinsic results. They will feel a better sense of pride, esteem, and morality. Adolescents can benefit from periodic discussions about the need to maintain integrity across all sectors of life. We need to let them

CELL PHONES CORRELATION WITH CHEATING 6 know that what they do and how they behave now will affect how they do things in the future. Start the good behavior now. Conclusion The data we reviewed was not able to completely tell us if cheating in schools is increasing, mainly because cheating has been taking place so long. However, what we can infer is that because of the prominence and prevalence of the cell phone within schools each and every day, the opportunity to find new and easier ways to cheat are available. Also, with the evolving of information technologies new opportunities for academic dishonesty are apparent. Students may not really want to cheat, but the idea of being creative in what they are doing and being able to impress their peers, might be too hard to resist in place of remaining an honest, responsible, and wise decision making individual. We know from growing up that peer pressure is a real life factor that affects a young person's decision making process. Donald McCabe, the founder of the Center for Academic Integrity, is quoted as saying that cheating is starting youngerin elementary school in fact. And by the time students hit middle and high school, cheating is, for many, like gym class and lunch period, just part of the fabric of how things are.Whats changed is technology. Its made cheating so easy. And the vast realms of information on the truly, worldwide Web are so readily available. Who could resist? (in Schulte, 2002). We also can state that in as much as schools are doing their best to thwart the technological advantage of the cell phone, both the school and the families need to be on the same side in teaching the kids about remaining responsible and instilling ethical values which can clearly overcome the lure of helping others cheat on assessments and papers. With that said, parents should play a more active role in talking to their children about cheating and the proper use of cell phones in school. Students of today, at all levels of education, are view to a

CELL PHONES CORRELATION WITH CHEATING 7 lot of unethical processes taking place, in either their own home environment, the shows they watch on television, or the capabilities presented to them by the computer and the internet. Cheating is not going to stop, but if we can find a way to limit the use of cell phones in school, save them for what they are intended for, and really make an effort to have students become a part of the solution and not just pieces of the problem, then the issue might be more manageable for everyone involved.

CELL PHONES CORRELATION WITH CHEATING 8 References Conradson, S. & Hernndez-Ramos, P. (2004). Computers, the internet, and cheating among secondary school students: some implications for educators. Practical Assessment, Research & Evaluation, 9(9). Retrieved November 3, 2011 from . Diamantes, T. (2010). RECENT COURT RULINGS REGARDING STUDENT USE OF CELL PHONES IN TODAYS SCHOOLS. Education, 131(2), 404-406. Johnson, D. (2004) Keeping kids engaged fights plagiarism too. Education Digest 69 : 9, 16 21. Pickhardt, C. (2009). Why adolescents cheat in school and what to do [blog post]. Retrieved on November 3, 2011 from Taylor, L., Pogrebin, M., & Dodge, M. (2003). Advanced placement - Advanced pressures: Academic dishonesty among elite high school students. Educational Studies , 33, 403419. Sclafani, J. (2004). The educated parent: Recent trends in raising children. Westport, CT: Greenwood. Schulte, B. (2002). Cheatin, Writin & Rithmetic. How to succeed in school without trying. The Washington Post. Sep 15, 2002, p. W16. [Retrieved online 2011 from:] Strom, P. & Strom R. (2007): Cheating in Middle School and High School, The Educational Forum, 71:2, 104 - 116 St. Gerard, V. (2005). Updating Policy on Latest Risks for Students with Cell Phones in the School. Communicator, 1:2, 43 - 45. Alexandria, VA. really

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CELL PHONES CORRELATION WITH CHEATING 9 St. Gerard, V. (2006). Cell Phones and PDA's Hit K - 6. Communicator, 1:2, 52 - 55. Alexandria, VA.