How the cheater-spotting drones are presented in the Chinese media.
Did you ever sit in exam rooms while a teacher, bored out of his or her mind, wandered up and down the rows of desks?
The idea was to stop you cheating. But in those days, you had to secrete notes on your hand or on little pieces of paper. Now cheaters are digital. Which is why invigilators are battling back with technology.
Schools in the Chinese province of Luoyang decided to prove they’re a little smarter than cheating kids. The schools know that kids might try to use cell phones or other devices to find answers they just don’t have.
So, as students prepare to take the so-called gaokao — a highly intense two-day exam — they might hear a buzzing sound that isn’t inside their heads.
For above their heads may be drones, designed to spot signals being emitted from the exam room.
As Google’s translation of a People’s Daily report tells me, staff within the exam rooms are connected to the drone. It will inform them of any signal being emitted by those who might wish to use nefarious means to seem smarter than they are.
The People’s Daily offered a lovely (in translation, at least) quote from the Luoyang Radio Authority’s secretary, Zeng Ying Yong: “We are at the big exam, always standing in the background, in a ‘mystery man’ role.”
There is always a certain power in being a mystery man.
The particular drones being used are customized for the task. They fly about 500 meters above the exam room and can hover for around 30 minutes. They also have an auto-landing function.
One can’t help but admire a little the ingenuity of the educational fight-back.
One also can’t help admire the forthright philosophy offered by Zeng Ying Yong (Google translate version): “Here, we also advise those people with ulterior motives, as early as possible to give up trying to be cheating in examinations and ideas via radio means.”
Of course, it isn’t true that cheats never prosper. But you simply have to admit when you’ve been technologically outgunned.