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Cheating Via Mobile Phone: Do Schools Need Parental Controls?

February 19, 2012 at 9:09 AM

uKnowKids Caught CheatingCell phones have changed everything in our kids' schools, including the way they cheat. The old ways of cheating (tiny crib sheets or notes written on the arm in ink) have been replaced with a new kind of digital cheating. Cell phones are tiny, ubiquitous, and easy to hide – and 1 in 3 kids say they've used their cell phones to cheat at least once in school. Do schools need to adopt some kind of parental controls?

Cheaters have a myriad of options when they've got a cell phone, particularly a smart phone, at their disposal. They can store notes, text friends for answers, search the Internet for answers, or take pictures of the test and forward it to friends who haven't taken it yet.

What makes matters worse is that our kids aren't as perfect as we think. Remember that 1 out of 3 statistic? When the same study, conducted by Common Sense Media, asked parents whether they think their kids had ever cheated with their mobile phones, only 3% answered yes.

Before kids are allowed to have their own personal phone, you should of course address the red button issues like sexting, cyberbullying, and texting while driving. But don't forget to talk about cheating in school.  And reserve the right to check your child's phone for suspicious texts or pictures at random intervals, especially if you have reason to suspect that something is going on.  

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Tim Woda

Written by Tim Woda

Tim Woda is an Internet safety expert, and a passionate advocate for empowering families and protecting children from today’s scariest digital dangers. Woda was on the founding team of buySAFE, an Internet trust and safety company, and he started working on child safety issues after his son was targeted by a child predator online. While his son was unharmed, the incident led Woda to kick-start uKnow.com. You can follow Tim on Twitter or on his blog.

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