Friday, January 29, 2010

Does Yahoo Answers help kids cheat in school?


I asked this of the Yahoo answers community and my question was deleted by the Yahoo powers that be. If you have not yet been to Yahoo answers it works like this: You post a question and people who have logged in answer it. You can also help the community be answering a question.

If you go to the homework help section of Yahoo answers it takes only a few seconds to see that kids ARE cheating in school by using Yahoo Answers. Many times kids post entire homework assignments - including the multiple choice answers. And surprisingly enough, many times people actually answer them! I have seen entire essays posted at Yahoo Answers. In fact, some kids don't even try to hide the fact that they are cheating - they say "Please tell me the answers, I am failing!!!!!" or "I need Help NOW! Homework Due Tomorrow!"

What kind of service is Yahoo Answers? Was this the original intent of the Yahoo Corporation? To make cheating easier? I mean, it is no secret that the internet holds the answer to almost any question, but typically a kid would have to do that research themselves and along the way they would learn a thing or two. Not so with Yahoo Answers. They just plug in their question and by magic Yahoo spits out the information, while they hurry up and copy it down to their paper.

I have even seen kids who "homeschool" on Yahoo Answers. I put it in quotes because the ones I've seen are all doing those "online public schools" and it seems almost "club-house" like over there at Answers. "Quick! I need answers for Connections Academy Chapter 2 in Physical Science!"

And sure enough, there would be answers for those specific Connections Academy questions right in the Yahoo Answers Homework Help section.

Connections Academy, by the way, advertises itself as a "Free online public school providing a nationally certified K-12 home schooling curriculum." Many homeschoolers are wary of these "public school at home" options, and as you can see - there is reason. They don't change curriculum, or tests, or homework assignments like traditional teachers do. They recycle everything. That's their way of "being green" I guess.

But I get a little off point here - Does Yahoo Answers contribute to kids cheating in school? In fact, I could go one step further and ask - Has Yahoo Answers contributed to the downward spiral of American public education? I don't know but just yesterday this title - ironically enough posted in Yahoo news, caught my eye:

"Colorado barely passes teacher-quality evaluation"

Not only is Colorado barely passing with a D+, it seems that the highest ranking sate (Florida) only gets a C - and most schools gets D's and F's. But how do teachers in traditional public schools fight against the intellectual corruption of children by a Global Corporation such as Yahoo Answers?

It seems a little off base not to ask whether we are promoting an environment that accepts cheating. Now I must give credit to the general Answers community because often they will either be rude to those asking for answers or they will refuse to do their homework. In addition, there are kids there who genuinely seek to understand and not cheat or copy. But it is obvious to me that the reason my question "Does Yahoo Answers Help Kids Cheat in School?" was deleted because it hits a little close to home.

Just another way they are dumbing down America I guess.

43 comments:

Anonymous said...

No, Yahoo answers does not help students cheat, that's a ridiculous notion because if you've ever read the Yahoo answers, the vast majority are from sources like Wikipedia. Ask.com and various news articles.

The information revealed on Yahoo answers is readily and freely available on the net. In essence, Yahoo answer just gives students another reason to be lazy because other people give them answers instead of seeking them out on their own.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
J. Anne said...

Please don't spam my blog with bogus tutoring sites. You have Yahoo Answers for that remember?

Anonymous said...

I work for Connections Academy. We actively check Yahoo Answers for cheaters. We then have to petition Yahoo to remove the material (which is in violation of federal copy write laws) to have it removed.

As for cheaters, most are eventually caught. You see, we have things called "CBAs." This is when teachers basically cold call kids throughout the year and ask them questions on the spot. If a student fails 2 of more of these CBA calls, then they may be watched with more suspicion, but the CBA calls are not factored into their grades. Likewise, if a student suddenly improves from failing to acing the course or, for example aces all of the mutliple choice questions, but not the portfolios or essay questions, then that can make a teacher suspicious. For written essays, Teachers have access to a program similar to TurnItIn.com that checks for plagiarism, but generally Googling a fishy answer works just as well. Do we catch everyone? Probably not. But we do catch a lot of them I think.

Yahoo Answers makes it easy to cheat, but they would (and do) cheat without it even. Sometimes the parents are the ones cheating for them! (And CBAs work to catch that too.)

But generally, I think it's bad parenting and lack of values that leads to cheating. Students raised well enough would be not only ashamed to cheat, but know that it's better to actually learn the material instead.

I do wish Yahoo had a faster way for teachers of all kinds to get school material off of their site though.

Oh, and sometimes they give themselves away on yahoo. They might reveal information slowly, never thinking someone with a bit of sense could be paying attention and writing it down to track them. State, IM, first name, middle name, school name... Then the pieces fit together and they end up in tears and expelled and all sorts of trouble. They just don't think.

Anonymous said...

Ummm duh it does my frineds are in connections academy and they never do their own work they know enough to answer the questions when the teacher calls and thats it their thing is why do it when people are willing to do it for me. Hmm sounds just like the world doesn't it and Obama is willing to contribute to that with free health care!

spy pen said...

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Ohhhh, believe me when I say it to you, the teacher will never know what you hold in your hands. One time, I accidently dropped spy pen and one of my friends picked it up and gave it back to me. He was totally fooled by this awesome tech gadget. Go to their page and watch video presentation where you can learn how it works;) I love them;) they made my life much easier.

Ashley said...

I am active on Yahoo Answers and I can't tell you how often it annoys me seeing this done. Just today we had one student from the Connection Academy site posting full cut & paste questions along with links back to the Connection Academy site! This was in the Homeschool section.

I homeschool my kids and I find it troubling that kids can get away with it or think they can get away with it. I looked up this students user id on Yahoo and it shows she has being doing this 2009.

Anonymous said...

Yahoo! Answers' would never directly intend to allow children to cheat on their tests and homework. Rather, that is a sad effect of the law of unintended consequences. Your post makes an accusation based on a side effect of an excellent community service.

What was your intention in writing this post? Was it to convince us of the "evil" that Yahoo! Answers has created? If it was, then I suggest you spend more time thinking of positive solutions or suggestions than ranting in your blog.

Anonymous said...

I wonder if k-12 cyber schools or agora have their tests posted? I work two jobs and my daughter does her work through connections and likes it. This is a serious concern to me. I just went to yahoo answers and honestly, if it is that easy to cheat, I worry about those attending that school (including my daughter). I do not thinks she is cheating, since I go over her work with her when I get home. She does get calls from her teachers, and it is good to know that they are on the lookout. Do connections kids get kicked out if they cheat? Looks like they do not, since there is so much posted!

Anonymous said...

I frequent both the yahoo answers homeschooling and other education threads. I think your complaint is valid, but over stated. The vast majority of questions ask for help with one math problem. They are often met with a chorus of "Do your own homework!", which incidentally is a clear violation of YA conduct. You have to try to answer the question. Since I've never seen a math assignment with one problem, I honestly don't think that is cheating. Perhaps those kids' parents are busy at work (or on YA themselves) nd they don't have someone to help. Now, for the genuine cheating and I agree it is a problem, use the report button. While it isn't a violation of YA terms to request homework help in that thread, it is to post a whole test or assignment. It seems few people actually report anything on YA. The trolls get more answers than an actual question. The homework scavengers would disappear if they were reported.

Anonymous said...

haha I cheat in connections alllll the time... you guys don't even know.. there is a whole facebook page hidden for cheaters in connections academy... I'm not going to say anything but... you guys don't even know... it goes wayyy beyond yahoo answers. STOP TRYING TO CATCH US... YOU NEVER WILL!

Anonymous said...

screw it let 'em cheat i guess...i think it's pretty dumb, but the parents will be kicking themselves when their kid can't get a halfway decent job because they're too lazy. they won't be able to get through college by cheating and when they enter the workforce, they'll either be in over their heads or they will end up working at a job where they make $20k/yr.
i'm in community college now (about to transfer to a university) and it drives me nuts to see people just skating through classes, but f*ck it, i guess. i'll be out-earning them when we leave school and they'll be serving me my coffee LOL.
to me, the funniest part is that the idiot parents think that homeschooling their kids is the answer at all! the world is diverse, with lots of good people and bad people. if you think you're doing your kid a favor by having them stay home from school and letting a computer raise/teach them instead of making them deal with life, i just laugh at you. by letting them go to these fake schools, you're setting your kids up for a life of living in the same class as the very kids you're trying to avoid having your kids interact with!
say hello to public housing for me...i'm never going back to section 8!

Anonymous said...

"haha I cheat in connections alllll the time... you guys don't even know.. there is a whole facebook page hidden for cheaters in connections academy... I'm not going to say anything but... you guys don't even know... it goes wayyy beyond yahoo answers. STOP TRYING TO CATCH US... YOU NEVER WILL!"

Don't know if you will read this, but I have never heard of this facebook page

Please send me a message:

gaiaacc1@gmail.com

Thanks

;P

Anonymous said...

"'haha I cheat in connections alllll the time... you guys don't even know.. there is a whole facebook page hidden for cheaters in connections academy... I'm not going to say anything but... you guys don't even know... it goes wayyy beyond yahoo answers. STOP TRYING TO CATCH US... YOU NEVER WILL!'

Don't know if you will read this, but I have never heard of this facebook page

Please send me a message:

gaiaacc1@gmail.com

Thanks

;P"

Wow, you guys are STUPID. That's all I have to say. Someday you'll all be sorry...

Anonymous said...

i like yahoo ans but yeh they do not let childrent think in therir own way!

Anonymous said...

i need help with my finals, what is the facebook page. pls send it to badass1sophia@gmail.com

Anonymous said...

I've edited answers on answers.com that ask connections questions and I say, "You know, the internet isn't a great way to get info. call your teacher for help if you need it this badly. Remember people, you signed an honor code."

Anonymous said...

Cheating is sadly a common thing at Connections as I am a student there in the 10th grade. I have been accused of cheating on the web many times in which it was false. My friend who had cheated had been expelled and had to retake her freshman year. As for I would like to attend UVA or UNC I need all the knowledge I can get. Connections has not yet learned how to really nail the cheating as they have accused me MANY times in which it was not me. The worst part is, you don't know the people accusing you. Therefore it is hard to convince them... I left public school because of this nonsense that I do not appreciate yet I still have to deal with it at Connections Academy.

To ensure your child is not cheating though, I would have them take notes or thoroughly tell you what they learned. As for I take notes and even though I am not at public school, I have binders for each class and write in them daily. My mother trust me enough and know I am an over achiever with very high goals for the future and does not worry about me. When the school accuses me, although, my mom will go through my notes and ask questions from them or pull up old work and ask me things from there. I wish the school would do that themselves...

It would make it much easier on students like me who get accused and punished for what they think is me.

Anonymous said...

If kids cheat...its all on them. The cheaters won't get a job because they will be too lazy! FYI: Connections Academy has busted so many cheaters in my class...I think they know what they are doing.

Anonymous said...

I think it is bad to cheat and I think cheater will go no where but allot of you parents Are not helping your kids at all so that's probably why they cheat. I hope you all Cheaters stop and realize you can get in huge trouble by the law.

Anonymous said...

Wow its sad that kids like me are working hard to keept heir grades at A's and B's when theire are other kids who have hteir "cheating pages on facebook" and geth their A's from cheating. What Connections should do is Check the history on the computers when the laptops are returned.

Anonymous said...

Yes, it helps students to cheat, but many only use it when they are very desperate.

Anonymous said...

Cheating:

Act dishonestly or unfairly in order to gain an advantage over someone. People answer the questions that are posted. They don't have to but they do. So its not cheating.

Anonymous said...

Yes i think Yahoo answers is cheating they could look up anything! I think they should take it down!

Anonymous said...

Here's what I think, Yahoo answers answers questions that people post, doesn't matter what because it is actually other users who do it. Now you claim it helps with cheating but if that is a good or bat thing is up for debate. When a person cheats it is because they don't know/feel like knowing the parts to the homework but if, for example, someone askes "What is 2+2, 2+3, and 2+6" When the person might make connections between the 2+ things and it would help figure out addition, I myself use Yahoo answers when I can't figure it out because the people there give me a starting area to help me figure out how to do it on my own. Also some might cheat because they don't feel like wasting time. Kids spend 12 (13 year with preschool) years of their life's in school, adding a additional 4 years for a complete collage thing. So with all those years being used purly for learning things we might not care about/need will lead to some trying to get it out of the way as soon as possable.

Anonymous said...

I apologise for my typing I'm sort of rushing the typing.

Reality4life said...

Seriously, yahoo answers isn't just for kids who don't want 2 go to school it is for everyone... don't be selfish. They had every right to delete ur question.SAID and DONE........!

Anonymous said...

I have been cheating at connections for 3 years still haven't been caught so good luck with your effort on trying to stop us.

Anonymous said...

You're really stupid.

Anonymous said...

I do Connections now and like you all said it's super easy to get away with it. My teachers haven't called me since August. The portfolios often have answers online. Under legal matters connections may never be able to stop all cheaters. The easier way to stop them is if you are using a loner laptop then they can check anything. Im not saying I cheat on everything but Im sure as hell not very honest with them. I even go to starbucks to do my work and Im on my connexus doing work and cheating. Once I saw a teacher (not one of mine) stop in for coffee and used her laptop. She even sat by me and saw me cheating but did not say anything but "Oh, I work for connections!" Its been 3 months so if she was gonna report me it woulda been done. I wish you luck on stopping us, even though it will NEVER be done

Anonymous said...

I know. I am an eighth grader in Connections Academy and this needs to stop. I can see asking for understanding on how to do a portfolio or implement particular math rule, but just throwing out the questions like that for someone to answer is not cool. And why not webmail your teacher! You can even call them on the phone for heaven's sake! I'll admit when I went to regular school and even now a few times I have looked up an answer or two - but only after consulting my parents and getting their okay. Even then I just google searched and actually found out about the subject and the whys and hows behind the answer. This cheating epidemic is getting out of hand - and it needs to be stopped. My parents are pastors so our schedule is wack - and I would hate it if Connections had to stop operating because of those kids. (Cheaters, cheaters, pumpkin eaters!)

ultimatewhovian said...

I have cheated before using dogpile and openstudy. It's not hard. To get away with it, use your CheckMyWork link, and reword it.(For Essays) For multiple choice do the same thing. Cheating is not all that bad because while you type or write it down, you subconsciously retain info. Otherwise you would fail the STAAR test.
btw, there is no facebook page for cheating just use those two websites, reword, and study near test time by attending LiveLessons, you will get a B or higher.
p.s. i would tell you my e-mail, but it has my full name. I shall reveal my name after today when school is officially over, and I attend public school again.

ultimatewhovian said...

uggh, school isn't over yet because i have advanced classes to take.
so, i guess i will reveal my name in august:)

ultimatewhovian said...

cheating on connexus
connexus cheats


sorry, just want more people to see the site, so they can learn how to cheat:)

Anonymous said...

ANYONE HAVE WEBSITES FOR CHEATS SCHOOLS OVER IN FOUR DAYS SO IM NOT REALLY CHEATIUNG JUST CATCHING UP TBH

Anonymous said...

cheating and researching are two different things. in example, i look up my questions on google and go to sites, then take notes.

Anonymous said...

This still is going on. Just last year I was reporting users to online schools who were looking to buy test answers for online schools. They would out right ask for the exact name of the test & given an email address to contact them them. They would also list other tests they had which you could buy too.

I took the info they gave, Google searched the online school & sent them links to the users who were doing this. The online schools were pleasantly surprised and thankful.

Anonymous said...

Well some bozos out there just put answers so they are just dumb kids with no self respect

Anonymous said...

Everything I have ever done in school was cheated for answers. I have also learned from a tech school that I can now hack the internet and web services. so I just hack my school and some other exam prep websites and get all the answers for free, and don't think you can hack me cause I use a floppy disk drive with a multiplying thread code to spread to your computer if you even access a menu from mine. so i'm safe forever and no one will ever find out who really is doing this.

Anonymous said...

I love photocopying the SAT answers from last year and scoring a perfect score every year, cause my online school just recycles the same old test. easy as pie.

Anonymous said...

Brah same here! I use a $40k VPN bought from the silk road. I use it all the time to get free answers to the SAT ACT and all of my exams. I can also actively watch my teacher writing out the questions and answers for the tests quizzes and exams if they are not online.

Anonymous said...

yahoo answers will never be taken down. Yahoo is a multi-billion dollar company that has been around for more years then you have ever comprehended the internet. seriously, they are old. but if they take down Yahoo answers they basically are saying we want all our users to use google for answers now and provide ad revenue for them and we could just sit back while hundreds of millions of dollars are being lost because they took that part of their business down. This would also cause thousands of job losses because of the facilitation of this one area of Yahoo. Seriously people need to take business class someday because I feel like everyone but a few people on the internet are all retarded and never think about what they say. Yes cheat on everything too but that doesn't mean I don't know anything, It means I would rather look it up in 5 seconds rather than going through and hour and a half of a lecture just to realize that im the last person to realize what the hell im suppose to do for the question.

Anonymous said...

I don't mind helping, I wish this community was here for me when I was growing up!

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