Cheating wearable tech. Teachers warn students of increasing use of “cheating watches” during examinations
The potential use of technology to help students cheat during school examinations has been thrust into the limelight after a warning about the easy availability of so called “cheating watches.”
These “cheating watches” are advertised for sale on Amazon UK (although currently out of stock) and can store up to 4GB of data to help a student cheat.
“This watch is specifically designed for cheating on exams it has specially programmed software, you can only find it here,” reads the product description on the Amazon UK website.
24Kupi models offer between 4GB to 8GB of storage capacity, can store text and image files and come with an emergency button for when a teacher comes too close.
This button hides the text and displays a conventional clock. It also locks the clock display on display until a certain button sequence is used to unlock it, in case a teacher personally examines the device.
A sales video of the cheating watch can be found here, complete with a smirking student. Prices for the device start from $63 (£41).
These cheating watches also comes with a delete all button (in case an emergency deletion of the data is required) and a wireless mini earpiece so that students can listen to their studies, without even looking at their device.
The emergence of these devices has prompted a warning from teachers.
Joe Sidders, deputy head at Monkton Combe Senior School in Bath, told the BBC that the rise of small wearable devices risks becoming a “nightmare to administer”.
“I expect the hidden market for these sorts of devices is significant, and this offering on Amazon is just the tip of the iceberg,” he was quoted as saying.
Sidders has said it is irresponsible to try to sell such items to under-pressure pupils, who might get caught and disqualified from their exams. He also apparently wants exam boards to take a tough line on this – and to challenge businesses making such devices.
At the moment, smart watches or digital watches with concealed content would be covered by rules banning electronic devices from examinations. Other banned tech includes mobile phones or any other computer technology.
The wearable market could potentially pose a challenge to education specialists overseeing examinations going forward, especially as wearable devices become more commonplace.
Research firm Gartner recently predicted that 275 million wearable devices will be sold in 2016, an 18.4 percent increase from last year’s figure.
And other research from Mintel has claimed that three million wearable devices were sold in the UK during 2015, representing a significant 118 percent year-on-year increase. This means that one in seven people in the UK now owns a wearable device.
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