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A New Era of Cheating

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This paper explores the relationship between 21st century technology, specifically cellular phones, iPods, MP3 players, YouTube and online plagiarizing to cheat. With these latest inventions and the affordability of these devices students can upload tables, graphs, charts, answers to test questions and more. Not only can they cheat to get into prestigious colleges and universities, but they also earn degrees. Using electronic devices students can pass on information to a high volume of other students via text messaging or YouTube. Plagiarism and morals will also be discussed to show how technology has become so easy to use to cheat.

A New Era of Cheating

Throughout history, people have cheated. While this is not a new phenomenon, the 21st century has brought a new twist….technology. Adults and educators don’t give student enough credit for their ingenuity. Students have great ability to learn new technology and apply it to their lives. Some students are using technology and every day devices to cheat on tests and on important papers. Technology is readily accessible and user-friendly; allowing students to use various electronic devices, computers, and online services. The use of cellular phones, iPods, and text messaging are simple and discreet ways to cheat. Students are plagiarizing online documents, purchasing completed assignments online, and accessing Google’s YouTube to teach other students how to cheat. Many sites, new and old, are aiming at intervention and prevention of cheating, while educators are finding they need to keep themselves informed this growing trend.

Plagiarizing online documents is a major concern in academic institutes throughout the world. Plagiarism occurs when using someone’s documented material in a new work and not giving the original author credit. When quoting from someone else's material, regardless of how the words are used, a student must still quote the author using correct American Psychological Association (APA) format. As stated in the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (APA, 2001), “quotation marks should be used to indicate the exact words of another” (page 349). Same is the case when paraphrasing someone else's words. Students must use proper references and citations, as well as, state the reference source, page numbers, volumes if any, date of publication, author(s) name(s) and names of articles (APA, 2001).

A concept and a form of plagiarism students participate in is to take other student’s work and represent the work as an original paper or assignment. The twists technology adds is students can buy papers online from other areas of the country, making it more difficult for teachers to recognize the deception.

The University of Phoenix’s tutorial Grammar and Writing Guides-Why not Plagiarize? “Center for Writing” quotes these reasons why students should not plagiarize:

Other than the obvious reason that plagiarism is literary theft, plagiarism can produce the following end results:

• Reduces the morale of students who do not plagiarize

• Removes students’ ability to use critical thinking while writing about a topic

• Weakens students’ ability to perform well in the workplace because of lack of writing skills

• Promotes unethical behavior throughout life (para. 1)

Handheld devices have added yet another dimension to cheating in the academic arena. In today’s culture of high-stakes academic achievement, cellular phones, iPod’s and MP3 players have assisted students cheat to attain advanced grades with little or no effort. According to Barbara Pytel (2007), “Cheating is not only continuing in schools today, but it is much more frequent and bold” (para. 2). With cellular phones being relatively inexpensive and a “must have” for teenagers and young adults, these device have become a popular item to use while cheating. Using a cellular phone, students can take pictures of tests, graphs, formulas or any other information needed and send that information to fellow students. Students can text information to students in another location or while they are taking tests or quizzes in the same room. These small devices are also being used to cheat on high level tests such as the ACT and the SAT college entrance exams. Students can use iPod’s and MP3 players to upload data and download to anyone else. A student does not even need to own such a device as students

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