As we hear about more instances of students using technology to cheat, whether that’s via their mobile devices or plagiarizing in online education courses (such as the incidents in Coursera’s classes), many educators are starting to see the downside of students’ unlimited access to technology. While the internet can be an invaluable tool and puts nearly unlimited resources at students’ fingertips, it also makes cheating a heckuva lot easier. When students can swipe essays written by others online or snag information quickly from Yahoo! answers and Sparknotes, it’s understandable that plagiarizing is more tempting, as it’s become so much more convenient. This is why it’s my personal belief that teachers need to set their standards for academic honesty higher than ever and maintain a zero-tolerance policy for cheating and plagiarism in this age of technology. Most teachers, I think, would agree.
Except this one.
As posted yesterday on Gawker, fifth-grade math teacher Shayla Smith of Atlanta was fired from her job for providing students with the answers to a test she was proctoring.
Her reasoning? Smith told the teacher whose students she was supervising that she “had to give your kids…the answers because they’re dumb as hell.”
Smith denied the allegations, but a tribunal found her guilty of willful neglect and immorality and recommended her termination. She is among 180 other Atlanta public school educators named in a state investigation into cheating.
Well, at least she didn’t help the students plagiarize from an online source. Good to know she’s helping them cheat the ol’ fashioned way.