Jimmie Falls

Learning to Cheat, Forgetting to Read: Youth Speak Out on Technology in the Classroom

Ed. Note: Amid all the efforts to reform education, perhaps none promise as large of an impact as the growing use of technology in the classroom. From iPads in every student’s hand to computer adapted assessments and the rise of on-line courses, advocates argue that technology can better engage students while providing teachers with valuable new tools. But NAM interns Yuri Guan and Jimmie Fails say the influx of new technology in the classroom also has its downside, one that could radically alter the way students think about learning.

It’s All About Getting the Right Answer
by Yuri Guan

Technology in the classroom is supposed to revolutionize education. But when learning is measured in grades and test scores, it can also make students believe that getting the right answer is more important than understanding why.

That’s what happened recently at Lowell High School, ranked eighth in California and among the top performing public high schools in the country.

In August, Lowell was one of 42 Bay Area high schools that were cited for cheating on the state’s annual standardized test. Some students at the schools used their mobile devices to snap and send pictures of the tests via social media. As a punishment, it and the other schools could lose their API score for two years, which would make them ineligible for state funds and performance awards.

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