Should smartwatches be banned during exams?
Classrooms have never been immune to emerging technologies, specifically electronic devices. Many classrooms now embrace the computer, which was once thought of as only having practical use in the government or corporate sectors. With each new technology, however, a fraction of students will always use them for iniquitous purposes.
Institutions across the world are taking steps to ban smartwatches from classrooms that can hold exam notes, access the Internet and receive text messages. After a cheating scandal in 2012 that saw some 42 educators and faculty members punished after a video surfaced of a proctor assisting students in cheating, Vietnam is taking extra precautions when it comes to national exams.
Recently at Ho Chi Minh City University, a student was caught using a smartwatch to cheat on his end-of-semester exam. The student was observed using the watch to look at notes he stored prior to entering the classroom.
The Artevelde College in Ghent, Belgium also banned all watches in response to the emerging smart technology. Since the school recognized its students are early adopters of technology, the ban came before any violations occurred. The report, translated by Google Translate here, was initially published in the Belgian De Standaard newspaper.
Academic integrity remains to be a concern within academia and, as technologies become more advances and smaller in size, the trouble of policing continues to be an issue. The pro-active approach taken by Belgium may serve as a model for schools around the world as the smartwatch technology continues rolling out and gains widespread attraction.