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

Yolanda Curtis
March 14, 2019

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

Ontario has chose to ban cellphones in classrooms, but Alberta is not ready to make that call.

It's not clear exactly how the directive would look, but the government will leave it up to school boards in how they enforce a ban in their schools.

The Toronto District School Board (TDSB) implemented a similar ban but it was reversed four years later.

"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 said.

"Some classrooms have teachers tell the students they can't use cellphones, or some principals have policies for their schools", Schandl said.

Details of the new policy are expected in an official announcement within the next week.

The province says it will be up to individual schools and school boards. The board also felt that a strict no-technology ban could potentially limit education opportunities.

"Is banning cell phones a good idea?"

But some students question how such a ban would look.

"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.

"Teachers have developed classroom management strategies that incorporate their supervised use during instruction", the council said in a statement.

"I think that it's time for the government to take back the power and give it back to the teachers inside the classroom", says Kehoe.

The ban follows government conducted education consultations past year, in which 97 per cent of respondents stated they favoured restrictions on phones in class. "I think the teacher should be in control of the technology and so the teacher should be bringing the technology to the classroom".

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

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