Ontario to ban cellphones in classrooms

Donna Miller
March 16, 2019

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

How to enforce the ban would be up to individual boards and schools.

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

The ban however has support from a 2015 study by the London School of Economics that indicated students performed significantly better when phones are banned during instruction. Join the conversation by commenting below!

That's in response to news out of Ontario indicating cellphones will be banned in classrooms in that province.

In France, students are now forbidden from using their phones in the classroom or even during breaks.

Some schools already have similar rules in place, but this would be one official rule for all schools.

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"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.

For example, in Canada's capital, the Ottawa-Carleton District School Board has an Appropriate Use of Technology policy. Results found that 97 per cent of respondents wanted some sort of control over cellphone use in class.

The Progressive Conservatives had proposed such a ban in their platform during last year's election campaign.

As the Ontario government is looking at banning cellphones in schools, some people are on the fence about whether or not an outright ban is the way to go.

"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.

"Instead of empowering schools to create reasonable cellphone use policies, Ford is promising a provincewide ban that is impossible to enforce".

"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. The improvements were largely seen among the students who were normally the lowest achieving.

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