Norwegian high school students can now use state-provided laptops during exams. But they'd better not access notes, chat with friends, or surf the Web. Cheating will be detected immediately.
The system that will check on the students was originally developed to monitor corporate and government employees for productivity. As British security company 3ami, which created the software, puts it: "If you do not monitor, you do not know if they are doing any work."
The software, called "Monitoring and Audit System" or MAS, is now available in an Education Edition being pioneered by the Norwegian region Nord-Trondelag, where 6,000 students at 11 high schools have it installed on their laptops. Among forbidden actions that will be reported immediately to the examination officer are copying material and contacting friends.
Will a warning be sent to students who start a chat session by mistake or forget to close Facebook or Twitter? That is not yet clear. We just hope examination overseers have enough information to judge what's cheating and what's harmless.