Published: Sat, March 16, 2019
Electronics | By Shannon Stone

Ontario to ban cellphones in classrooms for non-educational purposes next year

Ontario to ban cellphones in classrooms for non-educational purposes next year

In a statement, Education Minister Lisa Thompson says, "Ontario's students need to be able to focus on their learning - not their cellphones".

Whether or not cell phones are allowed in class is up to individual schools, according to English School Board policy in this province.

The ban follows government conducted education consultations a year ago, in which 97 per cent of respondents stated they favoured restrictions on phones in class.

The Ontario Principals' Council said school boards have already developed policies around cellphone use and the council does not support a further ban. Join the conversation by commenting below!

"Instead of empowering schools to create reasonable cell phone use policies, Ford is promising a province-wide ban that is impossible to enforce", Schreiner said in a statement.

"Obviously for emergency purposes, for medical purposes and for specific courses that require technological platforms - they'd be permissible", Progressive Conservative MPP Stephen Lecce told CTV News Toronto.

The Toronto District School Board (TDSB) implemented a similar ban but it was reversed four years later.

"What I think is problematic is when people use their phones to text their friends either within the classroom or outside the classroom - and would not be condoned for use for the teacher". "Is this a non-issue cherry picked to pretend commitment to edu?" said Pascal, who works at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education.

"It was the closest thing we got in our consultation to unanimity", one source said. Results found that 97 per cent of respondents wanted some sort of control over cellphone use in class.

"Students need to be discerning digital citizens and opportunities should be provided within the curriculum to allow students to safely explore various uses and risks of technology in an intentionally guided and supportive environment", the association wrote.

It states that personal electronic devices, like cellphones, should support classroom activities and that teachers would guide and monitor student access to their use.

In 2015, NY ended its ban on cellphones, giving schools the authority to create their own, in part because parents wanted to be able to contact their children, and it was not equally enforceable.

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