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Raising Grades by Lowering Ethics

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Tyler Monson

Tyler Monson

Tyler Monson

Nic Nielsen, News Editor

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When students were told by their teachers to “look up the answers” before the internet and cell phones were invented the students would look in their textbooks, but with the use of technology students can now use the internet or texting to find the answers with barely any effort at all. The internet, while a useful source of information, can be taken advantage of and used to make an unequal playing field in school.

Cheating has come a long way from looking at the answers on your neighbor’s test or finding answers in the back of your book. Students are now using technology to find answers without even trying in school. A big resource for these cheating students is the internet.

While there are many websites on the internet, it is fairly easy to find the answers students are looking for; all you have to do is type in the question. Because some teachers tend to get their assignments from websites online, the answers also appear online with the assignments. A website that is popular with Bingham teachers, quizlet.com, is just one of the many websites that list the question and answers assigned by teachers. Another known cheating tool, specifically for students in English classes, is the website sadlier-oxford.com.

“My students have used a teaching tool to fill in answers,” said English teacher Jessica Hollinger about the website designed by Sadlier-Oxford to help with the learning from the company’s Vocabulary Workshop books. “I changed the way I teach vocabulary so kids didn’t feel the need to cheat.”

The internet doesn’t just give students ways to do their assignments quickly. It can also do the assignment for students. Websites like writemyessay.com will write essays for any student once the student gives the website the topic, length, time of when it is needed, and a payment.

One of the most popular websites for cheating is sparknotes.com, where students can read a summary of a book or even watch a short video explaining the significant events in the book that their teacher assigned for reading. While this website can be a great tool for reviewing a book, many students use this website as an alternative to actually taking the time to read the book.

Another way students abuse the uses of technology is with their cell phones. Instead of the old method of looking at a friend’s paper and copying down the answers, students take pictures of their assignments and send the pictures to friends who copy the answers. Students in Dawn Kelly’s class have used their cell phones to cheat right off of the answer key she leaves out for correcting, as well as each other.

“I know students take pictures of the answer sheets, but it doesn’t help their learning,” said Mrs. Kelly, Bingham science teacher. “When it comes time for the test they can’t do the problems.”

Not only has the laziness of students affected the way they dishonestly do their assignments, but some students are too lazy to even take notes in Mrs. Kelly’s class.

“Students take pictures of notes on my board for when they study,” said Mrs. Kelly. “When they do that they lose a lot by not writing the problems down and working them out with the teacher. Students are willing to put their hearts out for many things but expect academics to come easy. Students are doing themselves a disservice by cheating.”

Mrs. Kelly also stated that her students have many ways of cheating, including copying answers in the halls, friends not marking answers wrong while correcting, texting back and forth in class, and using wireless internet to look up the answers online.

What students don’t understand is that learning in school builds off of what was previously learned. When they don’t learn things and cheat with technology to avoid work, they will be missing information that they will need for future classes in college or even in their future jobs. Junior David Belnap avoids cheating for this very reason.

“Technology is a good tool to use,” said David. “If you don’t understand a concept you can get help in other ways than just your teacher. It can be overused because you can be lazy and get a good grade for the work you haven’t done. People who cheat have less of an advantage, but would be better fitting for a job than someone who cheats.”

The development of technology has shaped a better future for the world, but when students use technology to do unethical things like cheating it is a problem. Cheating lowers students’ moral standards, makes students’ honesty questionable, creates problems for teachers, and gives dishonest students an unfair advantage which could take away from the future of an honest student.

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Raising Grades by Lowering Ethics