Thanks to Apple Watch Some Schools Ban Smartwatches

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Smartwatches aren't new to college campuses, but the expected growth in the market once the Apple Watch ships this April has some schools banning the devices over concerns that students may use them to cheat on exams. Schools fear the surge in popularity smartwatches will gain thanks to Apple Watch poses a serious threat to keeping students honest.

Schools banning Apple Watch to stop cheating on testsSchools banning Apple Watch to stop cheating on tests

The big problem schools are facing is that smartwatches can work as an extension of our smartphones—devices that have already been banned from many exam halls. While some smartwatches are very obviously not traditional watches, Apple Watch blurs that line with its design that's more fashion than tech.

Without an easy way to tell if students are getting messages with test answers or looking up information during tests, schools are going for an across the board exam room ban on the devices, according to BuzzFeed. Just like smartphones, they aren't, however, banning smartwatches from classrooms.

Apple's first entry into the smartwatch market will come this April when it ships Apple Watch, Apple Watch Sport, and Apple Watch Edition. Apple Watch Sport pricing will start at US$350, and Apple Watch Edition may top $5,000.

Unlike many other smartwatch devices, Apple's looks more like jewelry than tech. It's also expected to be very popular, which hasn't been as much of a thing for other smartwatches already on the market.

For students hoping to game the system once they have an Apple Watch, the new bans will come as a disappointment. Some students will always find ways to cheat, but now they won't be able to use Apple Watch—or any other smartwatch—to do that.

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Apple is already having an impact on the smartwatch market, and Apple Watch won't ship for another two months. The message from schools is clear: don't use your Apple Watch to cheat on exams. Sorry, kids.

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Lee Dronick

Sooner or later Google Glass technolgy will fit into the common eyeglass if not the contact lens. Of course when you cheat you are only cheating yourself, so they say.



My two cents worth: Life is open book. In real life we use every tool at our disposable to do our jobs. As a graphic designer, I didn’t memorize thousands of PANTONE colors, I had a swatch kit for that. I’ve worked for a new company for the past two years as a webmaster, and I have various copies of style guide pages tacked on my cubicle walls. Do I remember the CMYK values for our red? Nope. I have it tacked on my wall. What matters is that I get it right when I’m in Illustrator and Photoshop.

The real world is not about rote memorization. It’s about using every tool available to get a job done. Any exam that needs to fear Apple Watch or smartphones is an exam that tests rote memorization, and is thus a flawed exam.

Again, life is open book. All exams should be, too, else they are merely testing student memories, not the ability of students to solve problems.


@mrmwebmax very true. Unfortunately we’re coming to an age where it’s not just open book, but shared book. With the new tech you could send the answers to your friends or send the question to a friend who then send the answer back. I love tech :-D


PS I think this coming time is a good thing, as it will force education to be about learning to learn and reason, not just memorize and solving a set problem.


Yes in life you use all available tool but the most important is your mind.  If you mind is not tuned to analyze problems and solve them then I believe one can only hope for limited success.  Blindly searching for an answer will fail if one has no idea what the answer should be.  If one possesses the knowledge and perception to recognize the good answers from the bad answers then thank a teacher/mentor.

A test should inspire one to think not to fear failure.


“All exams should be, too, else they are merely testing student memories, not the ability of students to solve problems.”

Absolutely correct. I got my degrees in Architecture and Urban Planning in England.
All exams were open-book. One of the keys to having smarts, is where to find the information that will lead to a solution.



I believe that this explains the mystery of the sluggish (read, ‘non-existent’) sales for the Samsung Galaxy Gear watch.

You see, people already anticipated that there would be a university ban on the smartwatch and, where universities go, can the workplace, recreational facilities, sports clubs, the out-of-doors and private homes be far behind?

Samsung have yet another first; the first smartwatch to suffer anti-market social forces. And all this time, we were mislead into thinking that people didn’t buy the Galaxy Gear because they thought it sucked.

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