These SA universities have banned Apple watches during exam time — here's why
- A number of SA universities have banned smartwatches in exam rooms.
- As watches move closer toward being computers, they are more effective as cheating devices.
- There is even specialised cheating software available.
As technology becomes increasingly sophisticated, so has the ease of cheating in exams. With the exam season approaching, several South African universities have banned smartwatches from exam rooms to crack down on cheating.
Tertiary institutions across the globe are updating exam rules to ban smartwatches as they've essentially become wrist computers that can be used to record, transmit, receive, or play back audio, photographic, text, or video content.
Apps are also being developed to make it even easier to download notes on their phones. One of the most popular, Spicker (the German word for "crib") allows you to easily add notes to your iPhone, and you can even mark different notes with different colours.
Students can quickly swipe left to a clock screen if an invigilator approaches. The app also allows you to dim the light on the watch, making the text fainter.
This is how SA universities are managing smartwatches in exam rooms
UCT's exam policy clearly stipulates that "no student in [an exam] venue shall have on his or her person or desk, any device capable of the storage, retrieval, transmission, or reception of data including (but not limited to) watches."
The university concedes that electronic communication devices are "becoming increasingly sophisticated and communication to the outside without speaking is becoming easier and easier." Stellenbosch requests students to switch 'all' electronic devices off but allow them to be placed on tables, albeit face down.
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