An Australian school principal has controversially claimed that students should be allowed to use the Internet and search engines such as Google during their final exams.
Speaking on radio station 2GB on Monday, Shane Hogan from Kambala School in Rose Bay, NSW, said schools should forego the long held rule to ban mobile devices as the world becomes more technologically driven.
The head of the prestigious all-girls school in Sydney’s eastern suburbs claimed exams need to be updated to better prepare teenagers for their future careers, which will likely involve a digital aspect. Hogan said it’s “time for an overhaul” as the current method is essentially “irrelevant” nowadays.
“If we’re gonna [sic] test the kids, let them use the tools that they will really use when they’re out in the workplace,” he told host Ben Fordham.
“When you have a paper and pen exam it’s a memory test, it’s recycling what you were told and in some cases the amount of tutoring that takes place and the amount of past exam preparation, the students have the essays prepared before they enter the exam, it’s almost irrelevant.
“There’s no depth in their learning, there’s no passion in their learning, it’s merely a race to the finish line.”
While the principal claimed the pen and paper will never disappear from testing completely, he argued that the use of technology should at least be added to exams.
“[In] the world today we all grab our phone as soon as we’re asked a question, we use Google, we use Wikipedia, we use whatever,” he added. “The jobs today are about problem solving, they’re about team work… the high school certificate has none of these skills involved in the learning or the testing.”
His controversial comments follow news last month that some schools throughout the United Kingdom have made the decision to remove analogue clocks from exam rooms as students struggle to read the time.
The situation has become that detrimental to a student’s education that schools have bid farewell to analogue clocks for good to create an easy and stress-free environment.
Speaking to The Telegraph about the decision, Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL) Deputy General Secretary Malcolm Trobe said teenagers nowadays are simply not as good at reading the time as the older generations.
“They are used to seeing a digital representation of time on their phone, on their computer,” he explained. “Nearly everything is digital so youngsters are just exposed to time being given digitally everywhere.”
Trobe went on to explain how they didn’t want to increase stress among students during the busy exam period. He explained that an alternative digital clock would also minimise confusion and ensure the teenagers understand how much time they have left to complete their tests.
“Schools will inevitably be doing their best to make young children feel as relaxed as they can be,” Trobe said. “There is actually a big advantage in using digital clocks in exam rooms because it is much less easy to mistake a time on a digital clock when you are working against time.”