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Cheating has always been a problem, with people will go to extraordinary lengths to make sure they do better than they could on their own. In India, for example, in one state children’s parents climbed the outside of the school building in order to pass notes to their kids.
The problem is, these kind of obvious ways of cheating, where you could just put a security guard outside, may soon be a thing of the past. There are more and more technologies available to help people get the results they’re after.
For example, in an exam in Thailand, there was a case where students were actually wearing spy glasses that allowed them to communicate with people outside the classroom and get them to solve the questions on the exam in real time. Yes, that’s right, mission impossible style all the way.
So, in order to make you aware of what is out there, we’re going to look at some of the devices currently available so that you know what to look out for when exam time rolls around.
You have to give it to them, they’re getting clever. These watches and calculators appear completely normal to anybody who isn’t wearing the specially equipped accompanying glasses.
For those who do wear the glasses, however, the hidden content is displayed clear as day (you can apparently even adjust the brightness) giving them access to whatever they’ve uploaded to the glasses, be they entire texts, pdfs or simple crib sheets. And you can get one from the website for $39 US, so be on the lookout for these.
There is also this glasses-with-earpiece combination which allows you to transmit information out through your phone and then get the answers sent back to you by a “helpful” person on the other side of the line.
I do love the instructional video. Is that Mission Impossible they’re playing in the background or is that just me? It now sells for a little over $300 US so if you’re in a rich neighborhood these bad boys could be coming your way.
Not quite as clever as the first item in the list, but still clever enough to fool you if you’re not aware of what’s out there, the Cheat Watch lets the user scrolls through whatever they’ve uploaded to the screen, be it pdfs, word documents, txts and jpgs and calmly figure out the answers to their exams. So far so good, so far so any smart watch.
The trick, however, lies in the panic button which allows users to transform it immediately back to a normal watch that only displays the time and, where the other buttons don’t do anything. That makes it rather hard for an examiner to prove that the person was actually cheating (unless you show them this page of course). This one can be got for as little as $88 the US or thereabouts (the prices are all in Euros).
Okay, they’re not actually going to be photoshop into the classroom, but they can have used it to cheat. It’s quite a lot of work, but for those who’d rather win false than win fair, it might just be worth it.
Here the person scans a label of, for example, a soft drink replaces the text on the bottle with their cheat notes and then passes the new label back onto their drink bottle. Most teachers will not check such texts and as a result, they’ll have the notes right under your nose. Sneaky no?
As technology advances, there will be more and more such things that will make it easier and easier for people to cheat. For example, Google Glass can already display information on the glass of the glasses and as time will go by these types of tools will become ever less conspicuous.
Now, unless you’re living in Iraq (where the government actually shut down the internet for several hours before the tests) we can’t really do that much about it, except work to give the right tools to students before the test so that they don’t feel the need to cheat on the tests. And at the test stay vigilant, ban all technological devices, including wrist watches, and give orders to shoot to kill to security.
Good luck monitoring your students. Hopefully, you’ll have a bit better insight into what they might be trying to sneak into the classroom with the list I provided above.