Subba’s Serendipitous moments

May 10, 2007

Is it cheating or a new form of learning?

Filed under: Education,Learning — Subbaraman Iyer @ 10:16 pm

Recently Business Week wrote about cheating by MBA students of the Duke’s Business school here. It raises several issues about the use and application of technology. What is appalling is that students who are mulling over an appeal have touted this as a new form of learning by a wiser use of technology–sharing the open source way, downloading essays into iPods and and text messaging answers.

It would be unfortunate if the appeal gets accepted and this new form of learning becomes a way of life. I have often seen students in higher institutions of learning in technology savvy Singapore (where there is always an emphasis; sometimes overdone to use technology in education) resorting to cut and paste methods to finish their projects and assignments.

Do the educators and society at large realize the significance of this change? We seem to be creating a generation, where in the name of fostering team work and collaboration, we have often given short shrift to real learning, reflection, synthesis and intellectual growth.

While the endless debate on digital divide is relevant and has its place, we are creating a society where’s there’s clearly a different kind of divide. People will become information rich, yet knowledge poor and there will certainly be a class where without these technology tools people will indeed become knowledgeable rich, though information poor.


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