child protection + anti-cheating

Carl-Daniel Hailfinger c-d.hailfinger.devel.2006 at
Sun Jan 11 08:56:52 EST 2009

Hi Carlos,

On 11.01.2009 05:25, Chris Ball wrote:
>    > How do we protect children from accessing porn or other
>    > questionable content, and how do we prevent malicious persons from
>    > communicating with kids, like say, child predators in IRC?
> You can't prevent this, if you also want to provide Internet access.

Absolutely agreed.

By the way, a recent sociological study found out that children with
access to unmonitored internet chat are less is danger of becoming
victims of child predators.
Although that sounds strange at first, it it obvious once you consider
the fear of real-world child predators that someone might become aware
of what they do. The "risk" that children tell their online friends
about such predatory behaviour works as a pretty effective deterrent for
real-world predators (which are a much bigger group than online predators).
I can try to dig up that study if you need it for communication with

>    > How do we prevent cheating between students?
> You can't prevent this.
>    > Like instant messaging each other during quizzes?
> The easiest way would be to have the teacher stand at the back of the
> class looking for anyone doing so.  If network access is not needed
> during the quiz, you could also [...] turns off the wireless radio

That would work, but kids are smart enough to turn wireless back on and
make the LED light ineffective (with paint/mud). And even if you can
prevent that, the kids can use the camera to look back over their
shoulder and check whether someone is watching them and cheat by
conventional means.

Besides that, there's always the possibility of storing a cheat sheet on
the laptop itself. Good luck trying to find that. A solution for that is
to unpredictably exchange laptops between kids directly before a test,
but it runs against the ownership paradigm.

Someone with enough time and/or money can always cheat. In many
countries, kids have some free time and learning to cheat is probably
the topic with the strongest motivation.

You can't prevent cheating, but you can make it difficult enough that
most kids won't bother.



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