techkenyot.com
techkenyot.com March 20, 2019


Ontario to ban cellphones from classrooms

14 March 2019, 06:24 | Casey Mitchell

A young girl holds a cellphone in this file

A young girl holds a cellphone in this file

Education Minister Lisa Thompson said in a statement Tuesday that a formal announcement is coming soon.

"Ontario's students need to be able to focus on their learning, and not their cell phones", she said in a written statement Tuesday, March 12.

The ban will not apply to cellphone use for educational, health and medical purposes or as support for those students with special needs.

The Ontario provincial government conducted consultations on the cellphone ban past year, with 97 percent of respondents favoring some sort of restriction on phones in class, according to Thompson.

The Ontario government will be banning cellphones in classrooms starting in the next school year.

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While Green Party Leader Mike Schreiner agrees that cellphones can be a distraction, he is critical of what he describes as the government's "top-down regulation" approach.

Most, if not all, schools and school boards already have cellphone and technology related policies in place.

Some in the education field have said the new policy really doesn't change much as teachers haven't been allowing inappropriate use of phones in class.

The ban comes on the heels of a public consultation conducted past year.

"I don't want to bring my electronics to school because, if it gets stolen or if it breaks, I don't want to be responsible for that", says Matteo Daher.

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"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".

"Some classrooms have teachers tell the students they can't use cellphones, or some principals have policies for their schools", Schandl said.

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.

"Schools and teachers have well-established limits and boundaries with regard to cellphone use in schools and the classroom, similar to other classroom expectations, which are designed to create positive learning environments", the association said. The improvements were largely seen among the students who were normally the lowest achieving.

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