Opinion: Professors beware, cheating on smartwatches

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Flickr/Kārlis Dambrāns/(CC BY 2.0)

Smartwatches may give students the opportunity to cheat in ways instructors may not be looking for.

Having a smartphone just isn’t enough sometimes. People are now getting psyched about the new “wearable technology” trend. By this, I mean smartwatches. Just like your phone, you can send texts, make phone calls, track your run via GPS, take pictures and pull up documents, like, say a study guide? Why else would you need to pull up documents on a small 38 millimeter screen? I think that an average working adult would be more likely to use one of their other personal devices for that. 

Cheating with a smartwatch is extremely easy, especially right now. Not many students have smartwatches so teachers aren’t looking for them. When students are in a large auditorium with 100 plus peers, it’s easy to scroll through documents undetected by a professor. 

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You can easily find tutorials online on just how to pull up documents on a smartwatch. Youtuber Jeremy Judkins has a whole video on Youtube called, “Using a Smart Watch to Cheat on a Test?!” where he shows users how to pull up documents with his Android Wear. Though he adds a disclaimer not to cheat, “and if you do, don’t get caught,” using the app, Documents for Android Wear enable people to access PDF files through their watch. The surface is so insanely small and impractical, you would wonder what people really do with this feature besides use it on tests.

If you don’t have an Android watch, there is still another way to bring your answers with you to an exam. Apple has a useful app called Notes+, which allows users to type all their personalized notes and equations on their IPhone and sync the data to their Apple watch. 

People have already begun using small devices to improve their test scores. Take three medical students at Rangsit University in Bangkok who used wearable technology to try and pass a medical exam. The students wore glasses with hidden cameras built in the frames which took footage of the exam. The students would take a quick bathroom break to send the information to an external source to be answered. The receiver would complete the exam and send encrypted answers back to the students directly to their smartwatches. 

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A professor was suspicious when several students went to the bathroom at the same time. After a smartwatch was confiscated the truth began to reveal itself. Professors began to pay close attention for wearable technology during the three-day exam and caught two more students cheating. 

The price of a smartwatch can never cover the repercussions of cheating. But sometimes ya gotta do what ya gotta do. These gadgets can be a big investment for students, ranging anywhere between $150 to $750. But, when there is a smartwatch for only $46.33, the answer may not be so far fetched. Sold on Amazon as a cheating watch, this gadget has the capability to pull up documents in TXT, MP3, JPG, GIF, WAV, WMV, AVI and more. The watch looks like a cheap knockoff of Apple’s Watch Series. There is currently no information on if the watch has actually been used successfully.

Commonly, teachers ask students to put away their phones so they are out of sight. But now with watches, this is just another factor teachers have to be aware about. 


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