Baidu, a Chinese web services company, has developed an app that helps students with their homework. The Homework Helper app lets students’ crowdsource their homework questions. According to an article by Quartz, a business news publication of the Atlantic media company, the app received a good reception from Chinese students, in large part because of their heavy workload.
Using the mobile app, users can either take a photo of their homework, or type in the questions. Other users who answer the questions in online forums are rewarded with virtual e-coins when their responses are deemed correct. The coins can be exchanged for prizes that range from photo frames to iPhones and Lenovo laptops.
A number of homework helper apps have surfaced in China in recent years with variations on the same theme. Their use by students is not without controversy, as parents and teachers understandably see them as cheating tools. One middle school in Beijing reportedly banned the use of homework helping apps (article in Chinese).