Danish students allowed use of internet during exams source In a bizarre alteration of examination rules, the Danish government has taken the bold steps of allowing pupils full access to the internet during their final school exams, according to the BBC's technology page. Currently, a total of fourteen schools in the country are piloting the scheme and all schools are invited to do the same by 2011. It seems like a great deal of trust is put into the students themselves not to cheat. BBC News journalist Judy Hobson describes the Danish exam hall at Greve High School, south of Copenhagen as a strange place: "On the morning of the exam, the exam room the floor is covered in cables. IT experts are busy helping the teenagers set up their laptops, making sure they all work. At five to nine, the room falls silent. CD-roms and exam papers are handed out together. This is the Danish language exam. One of the teachers stands in front of the class and explains the rules. She tells the candidates they can use the internet to answer any of the four questions." The candidates may access any website they wish, including Facebook, in order to answer the questions, but are not allowed to contact any individual outside or within the exam hall. According to the Danish government, the internet is such an intrinsic part of an individual's day-to-day life now that it should be included in examinations and classrooms. For some time now, Danish students have been allowed to type up answers to exam questions on computers, having the use of the internet in examinations is logically the next step, but is it a step too far? According to the BBC, Sanne Yde Schmidt, who heads the project at Greve, says: "If we're going to be a modern school and teach them things that are relevant for them in modern life, we have to teach them how to use the internet." Minister for education in Denmark, Bertel Haarder, says: "Our exams have to reflect daily life in the classroom and daily life in the classroom has to reflect life in society. The internet is indispensible, including in the exam situation. I'm sure that is would be a matter of very few years when most European countries will be on the same line." He says he is proud of the fact Denmark is leading the way and believes other countries will adopt this system. The main issue with this groundbreaking examination method is cheating. Despite communication being "banned" there is actually no way a student can be stopped from cheating using this method; however severe the consequences of doing so. Ms. Schmidt says they rely on the integrity of the pupil and the threat of expulsion if they are caught. "The main precaution is that we trust them. I think the cheat rate is very low because the consequences of cheating are very big." According to the students at the school, cheating is too hard with the new types of exams. Instead of simply regurgitating facts, they are now required to sift through, and analyse an amount of information.