Ontario to ban cellphones in classrooms

Cellphones carry certain risks for elementary school students

Cellphones carry certain risks for elementary school students

Ontario elementary and secondary school students won't be allowed to bring their cellphones into classrooms, Education Minister Lisa Thompson has announced.

However, it will still be up to individual school boards and schools to determine how to enforce the ban.

Davidson says he trusts school and teachers to set rules for what role cell phones play in their classrooms.

"Schools have been working closely with the students and teachers in finding that balance to support student learning and achievement in the classroom", Fernandes said. "We will be making a formal announcement in the near future".

"It falls to us to make sure that we have expectations for students around how they use those devices ethically and effectively", says Davidson "And how we supervise students to help ensure that they don't use them in a way that damages the learning of themselves or of others". "Is this a non-issue cherry picked to pretend commitment to edu?" said Pascal, who works at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education.

For example, in Canada's capital, the Ottawa-Carleton District School Board has an Appropriate Use of Technology policy. Exemptions include lesson plans that integrate phones and for students with medical and/or special needs.

"I think it's a good idea", says Lynn Hutchinson, a local teacher in Windsor.

McRae agrees with Alberta's education minister that schools and teachers should be given the opportunity to figure out a balance on their own.

The Green party questioned why a government focused on cutting red tape is introducing "a top-down regulation that complicates things for educators on the front line".

"When the school day starts, the phones go off", one senior government source said.

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

"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. About 97 per cent of respondents favoured some sort of restriction on phones in class.

Teacher Ben Sichel is not in favour of a cellphone ban. The improvements were largely seen among the students who were normally the lowest achieving.

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