Ontario Banning Cellphones In Classrooms Starting In 2019-20 School Year

Ontario to ban cellphones in classrooms

Nova Scotia's education minister says the province won't ban cellphones in classrooms.

"Smartphones have become a huge distraction in classrooms, making it impossible for students to learn effectively", tweeted Premier Doug Ford on Tuesday morning.

The formal announcement of the ban is expected in the near future.

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

Although some Ontario schools have similar policies in place already, the ban would require all public schools to introduce the ban in the upcoming school year. "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".

Thompson says "Ontario's students need to be able to focus on their learning - not their cellphones", noting that during last fall's consultations on education in Ontario 97% of respondents supported some form of a ban on cellphones.

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They note that many school boards have policies that allow students to bring their own devices into the classroom for educational purposes. Exemptions include lesson plans that integrate phones and for students with medical and/or special needs.

For example, in Canada's capital, the Ottawa-Carleton District School Board has an Appropriate Use of Technology policy. "But in another class there may be no reason you should have a cellphone out, in that case students may be told to put it away for now, that they don't need them", TDSB spokesperson Ryan Bird said on Tuesday.

Government officials said the code of conduct for teachers would also be changed, preventing them from letting students use their phones unless it is for education purposes.

The mother, who has two children in elementary school, says that although we live in a world that relies on technology, there's a time and a place for cellphones. According to Central Middle School Principal Christopher Macintosh, the decision to ban cellphones was because it was impeding student learning, reports Global News.

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.

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