When is being constantly connected not such a good thing? Here’s one scenario: Say a student is wearing a smart watch while taking an exam. Could the watch be used to cheat—and is that possibility even on schools’ radars yet?
The answer to the first question is yes. We spotted a story about a student at Vietnam's Ho Chi Minh City University who was caught cheating with his smart watch. "The proctor noticed that the student’s watch turned shiny all the time so he came to check it... It turned out that it was a smartwatch, which can store and open cheat sheets."
As to the second question, the technology is on at least some academic radars. A university in Belgium has banned all digital watches (in fact, all watches) from being worn during exams. And in the U.S., GRE test-takers cannot “bring cell phones, smartphones (e.g., BlackBerry or iPhone devices), PDAs, digital watches, smartwatches and other electronic, recording, listening or photographic devices into the test center.” Presumably, that prohibition includes Google Glass.
We spoke to Charles Youngs, a curriculum facilitator at a Pittsburgh-area high school who happens to be a technology enthusiast, to get an idea of whether schoolteachers were wary of students wearing smart watches in class during tests. He hadn't been concerned before the interview, he answered, but he would be going forward.
"This is going to be something that falls under current policies our school has about student-owned technology devices (SOTDs), but it will likely need to be made explicit that smart watches fall into this category," said Youngs. "I imagine it will be difficult to stop smart watches in part because of the way we think of watches as an attire accessory. Still, schools have dress codes, and smart watches could be on a list of what not to wear to school."