Sydney, Aug 20 : High-school students in Australia will be able to use iPods, the Internet and mobile phones during exams under a plan revealed by a all girls' college.
Presbyterian Ladies' College at Croydon in Sydney said that it was redefining the "open book" exam concept, in which students are able to bring in reference books, to take into account new technology.
The school is trialling the use of the new media with 14 and 15-year-old English students but hopes to expand its use across all subjects by year-end.
English teacher Deirdre Coleman, who is coordinating the pilot programme, said students were being encouraged to access information using their mobile phones, the Internet and from podcasts on their MP3 players during exams.
But any time a source is used, it must be cited on the test paper to prevent plagiarism, she said.
"In terms of preparing them for the world, we need to redefine our attitudes towards traditional ideas of 'cheating', unless the students have a conceptual understanding of the topic or what they are working on, they can't access bits and pieces of information to support them in a task effectively," the Sydney Morning Herald quoted Coleman, as saying.
"In their working lives they will never need to carry enormous amounts of information around in their heads.
"What they will need to do is access information from all their sources quickly and they will need to check the reliability of their information," Coleman added.
As for the students, they are finding the introduction of new approach helpful.
"I was a bit hesitant because I didn't know how it could help us, but I don't think it is cheating after having done it twice, it just helps you find information to answer the question appropriately," said Emily Waight a PLC student.