My question to you: Is it time to ban watches from exams and tests?
For the last two months, I have been fortunate enough to have been playing with the Pebble 'smartwatch' as I was one of those nerdy geeks who gave money to 'kickstart' the program. For those of you who doesn't know what this watch does, basically it links with your smartphone (like iPhone or Android phones) and it can 'beam' messages or text to the watch for you to read! You can also control the music on your phone from your watch, or even change the clock face of you watch to over 900 different faces, or download programs/games to your watch like tetris, snakes, or a calculator. See the video below:
Now I know, you think this is COOL!!! Well at least I do.
But during the last two weeks while my students are undertaking their exams, I thought to myself: What if they use this technology to evil? What if someone from home was sending them pages and pages of notes during the exam??
I know that the watch is not currently available to public as yet, but I did get a confirmation email from the company saying that pre-order shipments are about to start. Meaning in very short time, our students might all be having one of these! Specially with the potential of being able to 'cheat', and for the cost of only $150. Some might even be like me and already have one of these!!!
Now you might be thinking, we'll just ban all 'digital' watches. But with the amount of different watch faces you can download, some look very realistic and mirror that of an analog watch. The other question I get asked a lot is the range of connectivity between the phone and the watch. Because it is run on the latest bluetooth technology, I have tried to have the phone in one room of my house, and control the music from my Pebble watch at the other end of the house, about 15 metres away, with walls in between. Meaning that even if students are not allowed mobile phones in the exam room (and we carefully check this) they can still have connection of their phone even if the phone is outside the room.
And with rumours that other major tech companies, including Apple, are planning on bring out these 'iWatches', it's only inevitable that all watches on the market will be 'smart watches'. Below is a quick demonstration of how it might work.
What do you think? Is it time to ban all watches in tests and exams? Even if we don't ban watches in exams, teachers and other educators should be aware of the potential of these smart devices. Feedback appreciated!
Please forward this article to as many educators as you can so we can bring awareness to the issue!!