Smartwatches for Kids and in School

Are Smartwatches Allowed in School

While most parents allow children to browse the internet at home (at least to some services), it’s a common debate in schools if digital devices should be allowed. The most common device is naturally the smartphone but smartwatches are becoming more and more common as well.

Supporters of technology in the classroom say that using devices in the classroom can keep students engaged.

But critics say they are distractions in the classroom. From social media to texting, allowing digital devices could hinder a student’s performance in the classroom.

It seems there is no exact widespread policy or guidelines on this issue. It’s more likely the school you or your child is attending has guidelines on smartphone usage.

My daughter is attending the first grade in primary school and they have a policy that smartphones must be in the school bag at all times. So using the smartphone during class or even recess is not allowed.

I bet a smartwatch would go entirely unnoticed if using it would not be distracting in the teachers opinion. With all the new features smartwatches are providing though like calculators it might be something that schools will need to consider guidelines on.

Are Smartwatches Allowed in Exams

In most cases smartwatches are not allowed during exams. Please check your schools policy.

In the UK using a smartphone or smartwatch during an exam has been banned for some time now. Even regular watches have been banned due to fears of smuggling in smartwatches disguised as regular watches.

In 2015 smartwatches were banned in Australia as well: “Due to advances in watch technologies the UNSW exams rules have been updated: No wrist or handheld watches are to be worn or placed on your desk during exams. Watches of any kind must be placed in a clear resealable bag under your exam chair before the exam begins.”

Several American high schools have also banned students from wearing smartwatches during their SAT exams.

This is understandable since smartwatches come in many forms that can look like a regular watch and you could use a memo to check some notes from your smartwatch or even use some specialized app for cheating which would benefit you in the exam. Some smartwatches even have a button to quickly bring up the watch face so that the invigilator can’t see what you were doing.

There are some that think exams will get more advanced so that you will actually be allowed to use the devices during exams. This kind of makes sense since in regular life you would use the whatever approach which brings you to the answer the quickest. So basically an open book/internet exam with a time limit would be a better test than who has memorized results.

Does a Smartwatch for Kids make sense

Children get often their first smartphone when they go to school at the age of 7. In Finland it seems that now in 2018 children are getting their first smartphone already in preschool at the age of 6. In the case of smartwatches I haven’t seen any being worn by kids of the age of 7 or under.

When I was 7 almost 30 years ago I think I got my first wristwatch when I went to school. Now kids have their smartphone at this age and they can check the time on it (if they know how). So what point would there be to buy a smartwatch to your child?

Childrens smartwatch benefits for Parents

There are smartwatches out there witch are designed for children and have GPS, WIFI and voice calling features.

These features can be great in providing peace of mind since you can locate your child with the GPS or indoors with wifi. It’s also handy that you can call your child.

We allowed our daughter at the age of 6 and up to play outside with the other children in the neighboring houses unsupervised so when it was time to come home for lunch, dinner etc. we called her on her smartphone. Sometimes she forgets her smartphone at home or it’s hard to carry because children clothes don’t really have pockets of that size. So it would be handy to be able to call her on her smartwatch.

Smartwatch benefits for Children

From the child’s perspective GPS or WIFI  on a smartwatch without any additional functionality for the child doesn’t really do much. Being able to call your parents on the other hand is a nice feature for any child. And if you are required by your parents to carry a phone with you then having something smaller than a smartphone when you are going to play with your friends might be a welcome thing.

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