(Last Updated On: January 29, 2020)

All it takes is a pair of earbuds and text to speech.

School kids are getting more creative with their AirPods (From: Plush Design Studio)
School kids are getting more creative with their AirPods (From: Plush Design Studio)

Modern tech has a way of simplifying our lives and bringing us closer together through instantaneous communication. However, it’s also being used by crafty teens who find ways to talk to each other during class time.

TikTok user Leilana (@_leilanaa) posted a video showing how her method works: by swapping one side of her AirPods with a friend’s and using Google Translate’s text-to-speech feature to type something on her phone for the other to hear instantly.

Although they won’t be able to hear each other’s voices (instead hearing Google Assistant’s voice), it’s a clever method for conversing without looking at their phones to read the sent text.

Kids These Days

If you’re curious enough to try this yourself, the public post is surprisingly thorough in explaining the trick using a string of step-by-step clips.

It begins with the title “How to have conversations in class” and follows with the first step, which is to trade right or left AirPods with a friend. You then type whatever you want on Google Translate then play it. As an added touch, she recommends “doing this with people in another class.”

TikTok user Leilana explains how the AirPods trick works (From: @_leilanaa, TikTok)
TikTok user Leilana explains how the AirPods trick works (From: @_leilanaa, TikTok)
@_leilanaatry this! #foryoupage #airpods #seeya #WhatsYourStuf #officelife #makethisviral

♬ The Box – Roddy Ricch

As of now, the video has skyrocketed to 2.6 million likes and over 21,000 comments with no signs of slowing down yet. With more exposure (and curious teens), its trajectory may continue to go up.

Part of a Deeper Issue at Schools?

While this is harmless on its own, the trick does spark some concern for parents and educators who could see this as a method for cheating during exams. By hiding AirPods under hair or a hat, students could easily hear answers fed to them by someone stationed outside the classroom.

While this is harmless on its own, the trick does spark some concern for parents and educators who could see this as a method for cheating during exams.

Sales for Apple’s AirPods are at an all-time high, and competing true wireless earbuds from the likes of Beats and Bose are becoming more popular as well, which means more discrete audio devices in the hands — or rather ears — of teens.

Should teachers be checking their students’ ears before every exam? While that might seem excessive now, it could easily become the new norm with kids these days maximizing the potential of their gadgets.