China's universities aren't the only ones to have academic problems, cheating remains an issue here in the US as well. Predictably, educators are blaming technology, which is making it easier for students to have access to answers. It's not clear why this is a story now, though the press rarely needs a reason to demonize technology. It's true that in the current system, it's problematic if students can text each other the answers, but that doesn't mean the only solutions revolve around hobbling technology. Educators should instead be looking for ways to make cheating obsolete. There's no way to get the answers if a test actually tests for understanding as opposed to rote memorization. Students who get to take open-book tests already know that they're rarely easier than the closed book variety. Of course, implementing these changes assumes that teachers care enough to compose more creative tests and that the point of the educational system isn't just to make students good at test taking. Neither of these things are a given, but if all of the effort currently going to fighting cheating could be redirected towards changing the focus of education from simple knowledge to understanding, perhaps something could get done.
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