IN SOME EXAM settings, I have seen students insert earbuds to block road noise. When those earbuds are attached to an MP3 device, something more might be happening. Those students might be listening to snippets of our educational podcasts while taking an exam and that might not be a good thing. Our educasts often answer exam questions, point-by-point. In effect, the earbuds could provide an easy way to write answers to exam questions. It's a trend in many schools worldwide.
The iPod Nano is thin enough to strap onto an arm without creating a bulge. If you buy a replacement cable, something more subdued than the telltale white iPod cable, you can easily fold it into a shirt collar and no one will notice. Just thread the earbud up your sleeve and then hold it to your ear like you're resting your head on your hand.
Get a doctor's certificate that documents your auditory problem and no one will challenge your use of a hearing aid.
If suspicions arise, students with newer iPods can create study guides and paste them into the shownotes section of the individual tracks. By thumbing through the credits, you could earn academic credit by correctly answering an exam question.
Students have been using technology to get ahead of the pressure of final exams since the beginning of invigilated settings. There's really nothing new about the practise. On balance, I think all technology has a back door. That doesn't mean technology should not be used to enhance learning. Instead, I think it's important to point out how listening to recorded lectures can enhance the retention of learning material and when recorded lectures form part of the curriculum, students should actively engage in a conversation on ethical conduct, learning values and expectations of fair use.