To Google, or Not to Google, During Exams, by Orestis Palermos and Duncan Pritchard

June 6, 2015 in Ethical Considerations, Extended Mind and Epistemology, New Research, News, Uncategorized by Orestis Palermos

Mark Dawe, Chief Executive of the OCR exam board, has recently claimed that students should be allowed to use Google during GCSE and A-level exams. Predictably, this intervention met with opposition from educational traditionalists, such as Chris McGovern, Chairman of the Campaign for Real Education, who responded that this is “nonsense […] a dumbing down […] Exams should be about knowledge and understanding […] Therefore we do have to test what children are carrying in their heads.” We doubt many would dispute that exams are about testing knowledge and understanding. But the real issue is the moral that McGovern seeks to extract from this point: Should exams be only concerned with what children “carry in their heads”? This is admittedly a natural inference to make, but as cutting-edge research—such as the interdisciplinary ‘Extended Knowledge’ project at the University of Edinburgh—indicates, this conclusion may go against a lot of contemporary work within cognitive science.

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To Google or Not to Google, During Exams?