Rather than an encryption gateway, having your email client handle encryption avoids the problem of man-in-the-middle attacks between the gateway and the client.
I don't have much reason to encrypt, but Thunderbird has my certificate installed and does my digital signing. This is not unusual for a modern email client.
As far as I can tell, I have all of the smartphone benefits without much of the cost.
First-semester physics and you can't quickly produce the basic equations for acceleration, momentum, kinetic energy? Learning to do symbolic differentiation and don't know the product rule? I think you likely have a problem.
Point taken that you don't necessarily have to sit down and memorize them (I never did), though I think there's no harm in doing that and it might help. I'd agree that not knowing them is more a symptom than a cause. But it's a potentially serious symptom: if you're approaching the exam and don't know the product rule, I'd rather the message be "you've got a problem and need a lot more practice", not "don't worry, you can look it up someplace".
But again the real problem with internet-connected devices in exams isn't their use as a reference but as a person-to-person communication device. The exam *does* need to test the student, not somebody else....
I've taught introductory calculus and we definitely didn't reuse exams.
There are some things you need to be able to have at your fingertips without having to google for them each time.
But even that aside, my big worry wouldn't be that they didn't memorize the quadratic formula or something, it'd be that they paid somebody to go sit on the other side of a chat session and coach them through the test. At that point we're really not testing the student any more.
Memorizing formulas is the easy part of learning anything, I don't know why that's the thing some students obsess about, and as a teacher I'd be concerned about students not memorizing things they probably should, but it's not the end of the world.
It's when they start trying to message someone to get help that I'd get really worried.... It's not likely to work as well as they think it will, but I still wouldn't want to have to deal with it.
We used them when I was teaching introductory calculus as a grad student in the 90's.
A smartphone's certainly capable enough, but I can still think of a number of advantages to a special-purpose calculator:
- If you're using it an hour at a time in class, something with dedicated calculator buttons is probably going to be more comfortable than the touchscreen interface.
- There's less to go wrong. In a class with 30 students, I'd be afraid one of them would always have a dead phone battery or a crash or.... (Or worse, I would while I'm trying to demonstrate something.)
- They're generally No wireless networking, so you can give test problems that might require calculators without having to deal with the whole "how do I know you aren't texting with someone during the test" problem.
But sure maybe some day it will make sense to require everyone to have a phone and standardize on some single calculator app.
By the way, I've been told by doctors for at least 20 years that a magenta tint sometimes helps. This isn't really new art.