U.K. Exam Watch Ban Extends to Hybrids

UK exam watch ban - this one's toast

“All watches should be banned from exam halls as more devices become connected to the internet, an inquiry into cheating has found,” guardian.com reports . But there’s a new danger lurking to challenge Great Britain’s exam watch ban . . .

The Independent Commission on Examination Malpractice, set up by exam boards to investigate the prevalence of cheating in public exams, warned that invigilators increasingly could not tell the difference between smartwatches and traditional watches.

Invigalators? That’s a thing? Well smartwatch cheaters sure are. As we reported, using a smartwatch to cheat on exams is an increasing problem in the halls of academia throughout the known universe.

The U.K. exam watch ban already includes Apple and other full-on smartwatches and, oif course, any and all types of phones. The news here: the U.K.’s invigalators (love that) recognize that hybrid watches offer the same opportunity to provide students with secret intel as easily-identifiable smartwatches.

U.K. watch ban - the man behind the plan

Sir John Dunford, the commission’s chairman, said: “It can look as if it’s a time-telling watch and actually, you press a button and it becomes an email-type watch. If you don’t ban them all I think you’re giving a very difficult job to invigilators who are looking round an exam room. So I think the obvious thing to do here is to ban watches.”

An email-type watch. That’s a new one. Look for the academic establishment to do the same invigalation thing here in the U.S., where students will do anything short of photoshopping their children into sports pictures to gain access to top-flight universities.

But make no mistake: the Land of Hope and Glory is further in front of this exam watch ban against cheating thing than The Land of the Free. Their exams are do-or-die for subjects seeking higher education. Blow one exam and your career prospects are in the proverbial shitter.

It called for more awareness of increasingly sophisticated technologies used to cheat, such as miniature cameras in the bridge of glasses and microphones hidden under a false nail.

The latest figures for England show that 2,735 pupils were penalised for cheating last year, marginally fewer than the year before. “In all walks of life, there is a small proportion of dishonest people and the education system is no exception,” said Dunford. “There is a lot more that can be done to prevent malpractice by both staff and candidates.”

Staff and candidates. Hmmmm. I wonder if there’s evidence that the U.K. watch ban doesn’t go far enough. Are staff members taking money under the table to help students make the grade? I mean, old Blighty isn’t Providence, RI, but money talks (with a funny accent) across the pond as well.

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