Things have certainly moved on from writing cheat notes on your hand or on tiny scraps of paper, with Twitter allegedly the method of choice for two students looking to cheat on their Common Core state standardized tests. A security firm hired by the test company uncovered evidence of two instances of cheating, according to Reuters.
Evidence discovered by cyber security firm
The security firm scanned social media, including Twitter, Instagram and Facebook, and discovered the foul play. Maryland Department of Education spokesman William Reinhard said that two instances of cheating by 10th-grade students were discovered, but he did not identify the school or the students.
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“This is the modern version of copying off your neighbor,” he said. The students allegedly posted material from an English test, which is taken in high-school across the state, on Twitter.
The materials were discovered in the past two weeks and were swiftly removed from the social network. Some students in the state had not yet taken the tests, which are being taken in Maryland, the District of Columbia and 10 other states at various times over a month-long period.
Technology raises issues for examiners
Common Core standard tests are now taken online, and administered by Pearson PLC [PSOND.UL]. This is not the first time that test materials have been found posted online, with company spokesman Jesse Comart claiming that the company has discovered 76 instances across six different states.
With the increasing availability of technology it is becoming harder and harder for educational institutions to keep up with high-tech cheating methods. Universities in England are considering introducing a ban on wrist wear in exam halls due to the increasing use of smart watches, which could be used to cheat using social media such as Twitter.
The Apple Watch is due to be released in April, and exam administrators are worried that they might not be able to keep tabs on the use of smart watches in exams, given that invigilators may not be able to tell the difference between an internet-enabled smart watch and an ordinary timepiece.