Using Cell Phones to Cheat

I wouldn’t be telling you anything new if I told you that teenagers are practically dependant on their cell phones. And I’m sure you wouldn’t be surprised to find out that the majority of teenagers cheat on school exams. But what you might find interesting is how many students are using their cell phones to cheat.

According to a brand new poll conducted by non-profit organization Common Sense Media

– more than a third of teens with cell phones (35 percent) admit to cheating at least once with them
– two-thirds of all teens (65 percent) say others in their school cheat with them

Of the teens who admit to cheating with their cell phone…
– 26 percent say they store information on their phone to look at during a test
– 25 percent text friends about answers during a test
– 17 percent take pictures of the test to send to friends
– 20 percent search the internet for answers during tests using their phones

– nearly half (48 percent) of teens with cell phones call or text their friends to warn them about pop quizzes
– just over half of students polled (52 percent) admitted to some form of cheating involving the internet
– Twenty-one percent of students say they’ve downloaded a paper or report from the internet to turn in
– 50 percent have seen or heard about others doing this
– 38 percent have copied text from web sites and turned it in as their own work
– 60 percent have seen or heard this
– 32 percent have searched for teachers’ manuals or publishers’ solutions to problems in textbooks they are currently using
– 47 percent have seen or heard this

So it’s pretty evident that cheating is going on (we’ve written entire Youth Culture Window articles on this subject). What’s even more concerning from this study is that only about half of these kids think that “cell phone use during a test” is a serious cheating offense.

It’s almost as if these students don’t know what integrity is. Or is it perhaps that they simply aren’t seeing good character modeled to them? (“Trust me honey, the ‘short sale’ on our home is the wise thing to do.”)


(ht to David)

About Jonathan McKee

president of The Source for Youth Ministry, is the author of over twenty books including the brand new The Teen’s Guide to Social Media & Mobile Devices, If I Had a Parenting Do Over, 52 Ways to Connect with Your Smartphone Obsessed Kid; and the Amazon Best Seller - The Guy's Guide to God, Girls and the Phone in Your Pocket. He has over 20 years youth ministry experience and speaks to parents and leaders worldwide, all while providing free resources for youth workers and parents on his websites, and You can follow Jonathan on his blog, getting a regular dose of youth culture and parenting help. Jonathan, his wife Lori, and their three kids live in California.
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