Teachers warn about smartwatches for cheating in exams

Gone are the days of students scrawling notes on their wrist as exam prompts. In the digital age, specially designed smartwatches could be taking their place, according to teachers.

The BBC has been contacted by a deputy head, who is worried about ‘cheating watches,’ being sold on Amazon.

The Beeb received word the teacher, who has warned the ‘hidden market’ for the watches could become a ‘nightmare to administer.’

The £45 watch is “specifically designed for cheating on exams” with text and pictures into the 4GB memory.

The watch, made by Premium, also has an emergency button which returns to a normal watch face, while it is also compatible with a wireless headset.

I expect the hidden market for these sorts of devices is significant, and this offering on Amazon is just the tip of the iceberg,” said Joe Sidders at Monkton Combe Senior School in Bath.

Of course, it’s not just this specific item. Proper smartwatches like the Apple Watch or Android Wear devices – much more likely to be owned by teens than this piece of junk –  have the ability to read notes on companion apps.

While phones have long been banned by examiners, the proliferation of smart watches means some teachers are already requiring students to remove wrist-based devices before entering the room.

On the BBC’s Facebook page, Abigail Lauze wrote: “My microbiology professor does a watch check every time we have a test. If it’s not an old school analogue it has to come off and go in the cell phone bin.”