Cheating Students Use Technology, Too

Students have tried 'invisible' earpieces and customized papers.

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In addition to repurposing the labels on soda bottles, students continue to explore other new avenues in cheating.

Customization. While some students busy themselves plotting ways to manipulate documents and trick antiplagiarism software like Turnitin.com, the Internet is inundated with places where lazier students can order custom "plagiarism-free" essays on any subject. These papers could be a major problem in classrooms because there is no way to identify them. One site touts a staff of hundred of writers who will even attempt to duplicate students' writing style. But professors say they can generally tell that students are plagiarizing when they use concepts and style too sophisticated for their education level.

Wi-Fi tech. Teachers are increasingly on the lookout for wireless earphones that could allow students to share answers via cellphones or prerecorded messages on MP3 players while keeping such devices out of sight. These "invisible" earpieces have starting prices of about $120 and can go as high as $600, depending on range, battery life, and volume control.

Too far-fetched? Not for the police in east China who this past summer caught students using this technology to cheat on the national college entrance exams. Similar incidents have occurred around the world. Even more elaborate techniques involve pen and button cameras that connect wirelessly to a computer and send real-time images. Beyond being ethically compromised, student cheaters have officially watched one too many James Bond flicks.