Ontario to ban cellphones from classrooms for non-educational purposes

Ontario to ban cellphones in classrooms

Ontario Government To Ban All Cellphones From Classrooms Next Year

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.

Some boards have already grappled with curbing student cellphone use during the school day, including Toronto, which later opted to leave the decision up to teachers.

Among the feedback sent to the ministry of education, educators complained that phones were not only a distraction but that students were also using them to cheat and share unflattering photographs of teachers on social media.

"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.

London District Catholic school board superintendent Ana Paula Fernandes said the new rules will not likely affect its cellphone policy.

Ontario's students need to be able to focus on their learning - not their cellphones. Changes the government is making to the Ontario Autism Program as of April 1 have come under fierce criticism from parents and advocates, who say kids now won't the levels of therapy they need.

For example, in Canada's capital, the Ottawa-Carleton District School Board has an Appropriate Use of Technology policy.

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WECDSB spokesperson Stephen Fields tells CTV Windsor, the planned cell phone ban and continued educational use aren't necessarily in conflict.

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

"We allow cellphones in a classroom when teachers want to use them for instructional purposes and we do have a formal procedure on that so we do recognize the value - a phone is actually a computer - and used quite often by our classroom teachers", Elliott said.

In Ontario, enforcing the ban will be up to individual boards and schools. "I think the teacher should be in control of the technology and so the teacher should be bringing the technology to the classroom".

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

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. About 97 per cent of respondents favoured some sort of restriction on phones in class. The improvements were largely seen among the students who were normally the lowest achieving.

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