Q:

My daughter says that some students in her high-school classes are using smart phones to cheat on tests. They also are taking pictures of tests and sending them to their friends. How widespread is online cheating? What can be done to stop it? -- Too Much Cheating

A:

Online cheating is a lot bigger problem than most parents realize. According to McAfee's 2013 Digital Deception: Exploring the Online Disconnect Between Parents and Kids study, more than half of all 13- to 23-year-olds surveyed admitted to looking up the answer to a test or assignment online. At the same time, only half of the parents of cheating kids believe that they had done so.

First of all, parents need to talk to their children about cheating. This is definitely an issue of values. Next, they should bring up this topic at a parent-teacher meeting and ask what the school is doing to combat online cheating. In some schools, teachers collect smart phones before tests. Others change tests for each section of the same class. And many are monitoring classes very closely during tests. All of these techniques reduce cheating.