Ontario to ban cellphones from classrooms for non-educational purposes

Ontario to ban cellphones in classrooms

The Canadian Press is reporting that the Ontario government will announce this week that it plans to introduce legislation banning cellphones in classrooms, starting in the next school year.

The ban would prohibit the use of cellphones during instructional time.

"There are still fundamentals that teachers aren't able to perform their daily tasks of teaching [to] children because there are so many distractions in the classrooms", Kehoe says.

What do you think about the ban?

Cellphones will soon be banned in Ontario classrooms. "By banning cellphone use that distracts from learning, we are helping students to focus on acquiring the foundational skills they need like reading, writing, and math".

The Peel District School Board policy states that students "will use devices responsibly" only after getting permission and direction from teachers.

In 2017, a Toronto middle school implemented a ban on the use of cellphones in classrooms.

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In a statement to CTV News, the Alberta government said "Minister Eggen trusts Alberta's teachers and school boards to make their own rules regarding the use of cell phones in their classrooms".

The board previously admitted that enforcing a complete ban was almost impossible, and indicated that limiting the use of technology in the classroom would consequently restrict educational opportunities.

And the Toronto District School Board (TDSB) even used to have a ban on cellphones, but lifted the ban in 2011 after student trustees argued that technology had become a pervasive part of student life, CBC reports.

"So we're very supportive of schools and teachers setting high expectations in terms of how they're used and we're uncomfortable with them setting expectations in terms of when they want them seen and when they should not be seen, that's reasonable", says Davidson. "I think it's important to understand what the government is trying to do as an objective, what kind of behaviour are we trying to target with this".

But some students question how such a ban would look.

In Ontario, enforcing the ban will be up to individual boards and schools.

The Tory government conducted education consultations previous year, and while input on the sex-education curriculum dominated headlines, feedback was also gathered on a potential classroom cellphone ban. These improvements were mostly demonstrated among the students who were typically "low achieving".

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