TVDSB welcomes proposed cellphone ban in Ontario classrooms

Ceria Alfonso
Marcha 14, 2019

"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", she said.

The province is set to ban cellphones in classrooms starting next year.

"Last fall, we launched the largest-ever consultation on education in the history of Ontario".

The Toronto District School Board used to have a cellphone ban, but reversed it after four years to let teachers dictate what works best for their classrooms, the article said.

"Ontario's students need to be able to focus on their learning - not their cellphones", Thompson said in a statement.

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.

There are expected to be exceptions for teachers who want to use cell phones during the course of their lesson, for students with special needs, and those who have a cell phone to use for medical reasons.

Students would be allowed to bring their phones into the classroom, the government said, but usage would be reserved for educational and emergency situations.

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"We think that teachers have a handle on their classrooms already", Arthur said.

About 97 per cent of respondents favoured some sort of restriction on phones in class, the sources said.

The Green Party of Ontario issued a statement calling the ban "bumper sticker" politics and accused the Doug Ford government of trying to turn public attention away from the controversy around its handling of the autism services file.

"Schools and teachers have well-established limits and boundaries with regard to cellphone use in schools and the classroom, similar to other classroom expectations, which are designed to create positive learning environments".

A 2015 London School of Economics and Political Science paper found that "student performance in high stakes exams significantly increases" with a ban on mobile phones.

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

"This suggests that restricting mobile phone use can be a low-priced policy to reduce educational inequalities", the study found. Or, we could rely on the results of a junk survey to make policy decisions.

"It was the closest thing we got in our consultation to unanimity", one source said.

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