Why Cheating is Harmful to Kids' Creativity and How Technologies Can Help Prevent It

Why Cheating is Harmful to Kids' Creativity and How Technologies Can Help Prevent It

Why Cheating is Harmful to Kids' Creativity and How Technologies Can Help Prevent It: Unicheck integrates with Google Classroom

Sponsored Post Written By: Margaryta Kremneva from Unicheck

Were you ever told as a kid that cheating was wrong? Have you ever cheated? If the answer is no, then you’re in the small minority: surveys among college students show that at least 86% admit to having cheated in school, quite an overwhelming number of people doing something everyone knows to be wrong. However, do they realize why it’s wrong?

Why is cheating bad for children (and for everyone else)

A 2011 study showed a dramatic increase in cheating rates over the previous ten years, with 88% of the cases owing it in some way to the Internet and computers.

An academic cheating fact sheet from Stanford states, “many students feel that their individual honesty in academic endeavors will not affect anyone else”. There’s an old fashioned argument about this: would you like your children to be operated on by a doctor who’s cheated on their exam? The Cheating Fact sheet reinforces this notion with this entry: “Cheating does not end at graduation. For example, resume fraud is a serious issue for employers concerned about the level of integrity of new employees.”

But one could argue, that this only applies to professional education, so why not let kindergarteners cheat? The problem is the habit: the “normality” of cheating will persist once the child starts down this path at any age. Why bother taking the difficult road of learning and making effort when you know you can cheat your way through it? Consider these statistics about younger cheaters: “Cheating may begin in elementary school when children break or bend the rules to win competitive games against classmates. It peaks during high school when about 75% of students admit to some sort of academic misgivings. Research about cheating among middle school children (Ages 12-14) reveals that: There is an increased motivation to cheat because there is more emphasis on grades; Even those students who say it’s wrong, cheat; If the goal is to get a good grade, they will cheat. According to one recent survey of middle schoolers, 2/3 of respondents reported cheating on exams, while 9/10 reported copying another's homework.” What this means is that children, from a young age, start focusing on the grade over knowledge, which makes the whole purpose of education obsolete.

In fact, it harms children in more ways than one. On the one hand, they cheat their way out of actually learning the information, but more importantly, cheating replaces the skill of learning, one of the most valuable assets in today’s rapidly changing job landscape. With the world changing so fast, preparing children for a future life is a daunting task for a parent, and teaching them to learn and adapt is one of the safest bets. You take the knowledge out of education and the skill of acquiring it – and children end up graduating right into the difficult ever-lasting struggle for a job.

Children are naturally curious and able to learn, a lot of the basic intellectual capabilities are developed early. Cheating strikes a blow to this natural curiosity and hurts the child’s self-confidence and faith in their ability to learn. Instead of tackling a challenging task on their own, with creativity and drive, a child gives up on it, and over time this affects their confidence such they could have solved it on their own. A somewhat cheeky attitude can help people be bold enough to try and, possibly, where others give up without even trying.

Creativity is also at stake here, because solving problems requires not only knowledge but also the flexibility of the mind and analytical thinking. Where ethical learning helps a child, and later a student, to become accustomed to analyzing problems, looking for different solutions and being intellectually creative and resourceful, cheating removes the motivation to think outside the box or go through the toilsome thinking process at all. Plagiarism is an especially toxic type of cheating in that regard. If independent thinking doesn’t sound like something valuable to you on its own, consider that complex problem solving, creativity and independent critical thinking are consistently named among the top skills that will be valued by employers.

How do we fight cheating?

A very important component to a cheating-free world is, of course, the upbringing. As much as kindergarten and school teachers might try, in the end, the influence of the family plays a huge role in what a child considers right and wrong: perhaps, it would be wise for many parents to pay special attention to educating their children about why cheating is bad for them.

Additionally, technology can be used not only by cheaters but also by those fighting cheating. Electronic testing systems, surveillance during tests are supposed to handle the cheating on exams. What about the most harmful type of cheating: plagiarism?

Plagiarism hurts critical thinking skills and creativity more than other types of cheating. Many universities are aware of the problem and use plagiarism-checkers to ensure students haven’t cheated, so it’s very fortunate that developers are trying to provide their services in the most affordable way, joining the fight against plagiarism. However, as much as universities try, it will be incredibly difficult to stop a person who’s been cheating, since school from plagiarizing their academic papers. In fact, it might even be too late to teach them not to: having grown up relying on plagiarism, a kid simply skips learning how to do it the right way. With this in mind, it would be wise to prevent children from developing the very habit of plagiarizing from a young age.

Luckily enough, many of the plagiarism-checkers are integrated with other modern educational tools like Google Classroom, for example, Unicheck’s plagiarism checker. This checker’s advantages include a truly exceptional pricing combined with cutting edge technology and a smooth user experience. 95% of the checker’s features are available free of charge. The company believes that eradicating plagiarism is a worthy cause, so a lot of the decisions are made with the comfort of users in mind. 


As part of this socially responsible effort, Unicheck implemented the integration with Google Classroom hoping to encourage educators to pay the problem the level of attention it so requires. Setting up the integration is a very straightforward process, so anyone who uses Google Classroom should make sure to check it out for themselves.

Setting the service up in a Unicheck account takes only five simple steps:

1.    Create the title for your integration.
2.    Log in with your School’s Google account.
3.    Choose whether to create the integration for all of your courses or only specific ones.
4.    Configure reports settings.
5.    Configure the global plagiarism tools settings.

Considering that cheating starts long before kids go off to the university, educators who work with younger children should prioritize preventing plagiarism among their young students for the sake of their creativity and future success. Perhaps, using plagiarism checkers is one way to do it, especially when it integrates well with other learning systems. Think outside the box and help your students learn to do the same!