NEW YORK – Android platform phones, or Droids, are helping kids cheat in school.
Smart phones are all the rage and Android platform phones, often referred to as Droids, are gaining traction in the Apple dominated market. Apple’s iPhone App Store has over 100,000 apps to choose from but this figure pails in comparison to the 200,000+ apps that can be downloaded from the Android Market.
The Android Market offers a wide variety of games with popular titles such as Angry Birds, Jewels and Slice it! In addition to games, the market also offers applications to make your life a little bit easier such as email clients apps, Pandora , and social network based apps like Facebook for Android. However, one app in particular made life a little too easy for some children and created great concern for many educators.
The app “Give Me Your Answer” is one of the first apps of its kind to be offered with an ear piece. The concept behind this Russian designed app is that the user inserts the earpiece into the ear canal like one would do with a hearing aid. The user then simply asks a question out loud. The app incorporates Google’s Voice Search tool, which comes pre-installed on all Droids, and searches the internet for the answer. It then relays the answer quietly into the ear of the user. The concern for educators here was that students were using the app to aid them with their exams.
“After the holiday break, we were noticing several kids coming into class with hearing aids and found it to be quite strange. What was even odder was that they were all continually mumbling to themselves. But when our F students became A students overnight, we new something was up,” said Vice Principle Dilmer of PS 312.
Upon learning about the app, Google announced that it would remove the app from its Android Market.
“We very rarely will remove apps from the Market,” said Google CEO Eric Schmidt, “but this is app is just plain wrong. We at Google believe that the children are our future. We have to teach them well and let them lead the way. We have to help to show them all the beauty, I mean intelligence, that they possess inside. We have to give them a sense of pride and make things easier, but not easier this way.”