How to Stop Kids from Using Electronics (Phone, PDAs) to Cheat in School

My 8-year-old son asked for help putting on his calculator watch this morning. He joked that he might use it during tests, and I quietly told him it might be a big mistake. His eyes perked up. “Why, dad?”

“The alarm goes off… it’s really embarrassing  when the ‘cheating alarm’ goes off.” He smiled, realizing I was quite likely joking. It didn’t help my credibility when I described the alarm’s sound as “beeep weeepp… CHEATER IN THE CLASSROOM!!!… beeeep weeeep.”

Then I realized the fish was nibbling at the bait, and decided to grab for anything that might substantiate my fib. “It happened to a friend of mine named Mason once,” I explained with a sincere and sad face. “Really?” he said, forgetting that when I was 10 we were lucky to have a watch with lenticular lense that made Tony the Tiger smile, or smile even more creepily.

My 10-year-old daughter challenged my story by asking, “how would it know if you’re cheating?”

Here, my dear WVFF reader, is why modern advances like Wii controllers and facial-recognition software can make a parent’s ‘white lie’ pass the mustard.

“It’s not always accurate, guys,” I conceeded. “It first computes how many other kids are around you and if they’re clustered or in even rows,” I explained. They were biting. “Then it searches for level planes- like the top of desks.” As far-fetched as this sounds, they’ve seen smarter technology in their lifetime.

My four-year old grabbed a rock and tossed it at a tree. He wasn’t listening.

“There are ways to beat the watch’s logic, but it’s not easy,” I confided. “For instance, if you’re taking a make-up test alone it may think you’re just playing around since there aren’t other kids near by in rows.”

By the time the bus arrived, I’d coined “cheating detection algorythms” and encouraged my still-skeptical son to try cheating today so he could hear the alarm himself… but warned him that Mason was so frightened of the watch’s alert warning that he peed at his desk. “Have fun at school guys,” I said before kissing them each.

25 Replies to “How to Stop Kids from Using Electronics (Phone, PDAs) to Cheat in School”

  1. Kevin, in the very near future, you’re going to lose the #85 most subscribed spot. No, not to Mean Kitty. It will be to one of your kids, who starts their own channel, and starts vlogging about their therapy sessions.

    Remember, if you lied about the watch, that means you probably lied about Santa and the Easter Bunny.

    Aw, who am I kidding, your kids will probably turn out better than I did. As a youngster, our parents boycotted toys one summer (they said it was because we had been bad, but really it was because they were broke and on the brink of divorce), so we dug toys out of the dumpster and made toys out of boxes. And except for a couple years after high school, I’ve never needed to see a shrink.

    HA! I jut thought of a great sketch about a homeless ex-executive and his son.

    Dad: Son, I got you a Wii for Christmas.
    Son: Dad, this is a box, there’s no Wii in here.
    Dad: I know son, but there was some Wii on the box when I pulled it out of the dumpster.
    Son: You’re the best homeless executive dad ever!
    Dad: I know son, I know.
    (cheery music outto)

    That’s free for anyone to steal and use, as long as you link to my YouTube channel for credit 😀

  2. Oh yeah, Nalts…if you think I’m going back and reading the novels you composed this last week after dissing us for a month, you’re sadly mistaken! Pshh!

    p.s. I had a dream about you last night…LOL! I’m being serious! I dreamt that you were a public transportation worker, driving a bus when you got out of the bus to try and do something funny and everyone got pissed at you and a fight broke out! They swarmed around you each taking in a sucker punch! The funny thing is…when I woke up… I remember thinking…Hmmm, he looks older in real life!

    If only sukatra, Nutcheese and MDJ were the people taking sucker punches, NOW THAT would have been a good dream!

    I don’t remember my dreams often, but when I do dream they always have people I know in them. :o)

  3. As a teacher who works in a middle school, we try very hard to keep cell phones out of the kids’ hands during the school day. Since I work in a city that has a fairly low standard of living, PDAs are not really a problem. Very few of the kids have smart phones.

    But they all text like crazy and that is a problem. But, being middle-schoolers, they are usually fairly clumsy about trying to be sneaky, so it is not too hard to catch them. If they are seen using a cellphone during school hours, it is taken away from them and they can only get it back by having their parent or guardian pick it up from the principal. That is a pretty good deterent.

  4. @7

    That’s just sad.

    When my kids get to that age, I’m hoping society won’t shun me for not giving them a cell phone. I had to wait until I was a sophomore before I got a pager (the “cell phone” of the 90’s), and even then, the only reason I was allowed to take it to work was because my mom was having severe health problems and I might have needed to be contacted in a hurry.

    If I ever gave my kids a cell phone before they hit some reasonable proximity to adulthood, it would be one of those family plan phones for kids that don’t allow texting or calls to or from non-family members during school hours. I Can understand wanting a way to reach your kids in an emergency, but they’re at school to learn, and they need to focus on that.

  5. “Class” is subjective, sukatra. I am VERY WELL aware that serving my country puts me in a lower class than the captains of industry here. Also raising two children who are not on welfare makes me a scumbag in the eyes of those who eschew childraising. Taking care of my senile mother makes me a bum. My efforts on behalf of the homeless proves I’m some sort of degenerate. The lives I’ve saved were worthless to the collective.

    I’m so ashamed.

  6. Katie seems pretty smart, I bet she reads your blog. Nice goin’ Kevin!

    far be it from me to tell someone how to raise their kids, but when I was a kid it was a guilty conscience that got me first, in high school I learned about integrity then I found out it was ok to make mistakes as long as no one got killed and I promised to stop robbing banks.

  7. Which kid is this? If he has a youtube account, then he’s fair game for calling him an idiot for needing to use a calculator on a test when he’s in… probably 2nd grade.

    I mean, seriously, at that age, all they’re learning is times tables and stuff, stuff which having a calculator would actually be detrimental (at least, out here in CA, with us being in the high 40’s on states with best pre-uni education system, it would be)

    On a different note.
    I won’t lie, I am very much guilty of texting friends while I’m in class. Of course, I don’t feel guilty about doing it because I have A’s in all the classes I text in.

  8. Wait- I must be undermedicated. Everyone’s talking at once.

    Hey- when I was a kid they told us our pee would turn blue in the pool. Scared me enough to make me get out to pee. But not to poo of course.

  9. @15: but do the friends you are texting all have As? Perhaps you are disrupting their ability to get an education. Did you ever think of that? Not to mention that it is rude to the teacher, who spent a lot of time creating a lesson that would interest and educate all of his/her students.


  10. @18

    Good point. Besides, kids don’t have jobs (but then, neither do I right now), nor many responsibilities outside of getting an education. There should be plenty of time in a day to text after class.

    I think I should become a Mennonite. Then I’d have a great excuse to limit technology when I have kids.

  11. @19: Setting limits on kids is the main job of parenting. No one ever said parenting is easy, but the most important thing to remember is that you are your child’s parent, not their friend.

    We got our first computer (as a family) when my oldest was 10 (he is now nearly 23). My kids had strict limits as to the amount of time they could spend on the computer and what they could do with that time. This was also before broadband, and if they wanted to go on the Internet, I had to sign in for them. And I watched them. That seems to be a novel concept for some parents.

    My boys didn’t get cell phones until they were driving. Granted, this was before cell phone became so ubiquitous. Now nearly every kid over the age of 5 has a cell phone. Parents need to learn how to say no to their kids.

  12. I demand that you set up a Future Psychotherapy Trust Fund for each of your children. Send me proof that this has been done, no later than December 15, 2008, or else ….

    …. I am coming over when you are out of the country and give each of your kids the URL to this blog.

  13. I spent the day today at Parkland Hospital in Dallas (where JFK was pronounced dead) and it was so cold outside that the hospital opened up their waiting rooms for the homeless to sleep in. There I saw the butt ugliest man in the world! Damn! I wish I had brought my camcorder!!! This guy was ugly beyond description. He was so ugly Dallas PD arrested him and had him in chains in the Assessment Area. I puked. A tattooed biker in the room puked also. Others just turned away.

    Damn that guy was fuuuuuuugly! I wanted to gouge out my eyes.

  14. @18

    the teacher part, no, but I only respond to texts, as far I care, if they want to waste time talking to me when what the teacher is talking about, then more props to me when I’m successful in life and they’re homeless, only working to pay their phone bill so they can text people.

    That’s also one of the things which doesn’t make me a nice a person to interact with on a daily basis…

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