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Ontario to ban cellphones from classrooms

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  • Ontario to ban cellphones from classrooms

    https://www.680news.com/2019/03/12/o...ellphones-ban/

    The Canadian Press has learned that Ontario is set to announce this week that cellphones will be banned in classrooms, starting in the next school year.

    Some schools already have similar policies, but the province will issue a directive to all public schools for the 2019-20 school year.

    It would prohibit cellphone use during instructional time.

    Enforcement of the ban would be up to individual boards and schools.

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

    Government sources who were not authorized to speak publicly ahead of the announcement say exceptions would be made for when teachers want to use cellphones as part of their lesson, for medical reasons and students with special needs.

    “When the school day starts, the phones go off,” one senior government source said. “It’s about recognizing that a school is a learning environment.”

    The Tory government conducted education consultations last year, and while input on the sex-education curriculum dominated headlines, feedback was also gathered on a potential classroom cellphone ban.

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

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

    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 board has previously said that enforcing an outright ban was next to impossible, and said that to curb technology use would be to place limits on educational opportunities as well.

    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. 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-cost policy to reduce educational inequalities,” the study found.

  • #2
    From my understanding, lots of teachers would like this to be implemented here

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    • #3
      If there is an emergency at home, call the school.

      Kids dont need to be plugged in during class.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Giventofly View Post
        From my understanding, lots of teachers would like this to be implemented here
        Lots of teachers do implement that here. My son told me they are not allowed at all to look at their phones during class time.

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        • #5
          I see first hand how cellphones impact work performance in an office setting. I can't imagine the frustration teachers have with trying to keep kids focused on education when cellphones are present.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by #1Fan View Post
            I see first hand how cellphones impact work performance in an office setting. I can't imagine the frustration teachers have with trying to keep kids focused on education when cellphones are present.
            Go to any meeting. How many people are actively participating vs looking at email/playing with their cell phone?

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            • #7
              Originally posted by go riders View Post

              Go to any meeting. How many people are actively participating vs looking at email/playing with their cell phone?
              Conferences are definitely bad, lots of phone looking during technical presentations. I do my best to avoid falling into that trap, but its very easy to find myself responding to an email, or viewing a link that was sent when I should be listening.

              Business meetings though, generally people are better I find. The phone may be sitting there, with the odd check happening, but most are ignoring it during a meeting.

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              • #8
                The devil will be in the details here. Basically the local boards will be the ones enforcing it so unless the provincial government actually cuts funding for the boards who ignore the policy, it will be status quo. But just like the tuition/OSAP announcements for Ontario universities, check the fine print before judging this announcement.

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                • #9
                  As a dad with three young kids without cell phones (yet), I’d like to know how old were everyone’s kids when they first got cell phones. What’s the age now?

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                  • #10
                    My students are not permitted to be on their phones while I'm teaching. They are not to be playing with them during "work time" - however, many kids listen to music while they're working and I'm fine with that. Having a quick look at a text or whatever doesn't bother me. But if your eyes are locked on your phone while I'm trying to teach, or if I see you watering your fake crops in your farm game, I take your phone for the class period. During tests, all phones are put in a big bin by the door.

                    I don't know about an all-out ban. There are a lot of benefits that can come with devices that can tell my history students the answer to any question they could ever have. The fact that our computer labs are basically always free - when you used to have to book at least a couple of weeks in advance - is a testament to this. Furthermore, there aren't many places in this world that have a total ban on mobile devices. I feel like teaching kids to use them responsibly is a better tactic than taking them away.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Marcus Aurelius View Post
                      As a dad with three young kids without cell phones (yet), I’d like to know how old were everyone’s kids when they first got cell phones. What’s the age now?
                      My daughter is only 6, but the wife and I have discussed getting her a cell phone no earlier than 16. Heck, I only got my own when I was 17; prior to that when I went out as a kid we used phone booths or one of my parents would give me one of their's to use while I was out.

                      I like hearing that this is finally occurring, and hope it's enforced, but I can see a lot of whiny parents going nuts when they're informed that the teacher took their kids cell phone away. Lucky at my work I rarely see people on their cell phones in the cooler, on the production line, or during meetings, but in the office... unbelievable the amount of people constantly on their cell phones or playing games on their desktops.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by R.J View Post
                        My daughter is only 6, but the wife and I have discussed getting her a cell phone no earlier than 16. Heck, I only got my own when I was 17; prior to that when I went out as a kid we used phone booths or one of my parents would give me one of their's to use while I was out.

                        I like hearing that this is finally occurring, and hope it's enforced, but I can see a lot of whiny parents going nuts when they're informed that the teacher took their kids cell phone away. Lucky at my work I rarely see people on their cell phones in the cooler, on the production line, or during meetings, but in the office... unbelievable the amount of people constantly on their cell phones or playing games on their desktops.
                        LOL, ouch carrying one of those around.
                        Seriously though I think the phones could be scrambled in intervals at schools while classes are on or for most of them.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by R.J View Post
                          My daughter is only 6, but the wife and I have discussed getting her a cell phone no earlier than 16. Heck, I only got my own when I was 17; prior to that when I went out as a kid we used phone booths or one of my parents would give me one of their's to use while I was out.

                          I like hearing that this is finally occurring, and hope it's enforced, but I can see a lot of whiny parents going nuts when they're informed that the teacher took their kids cell phone away. Lucky at my work I rarely see people on their cell phones in the cooler, on the production line, or during meetings, but in the office... unbelievable the amount of people constantly on their cell phones or playing games on their desktops.
                          We waited until he was 14, but even then, he claims he was the last of his friends to have one. Its a balance between not wanting to get them one too early, if all all for all the negative aspects, but without one, the kids really do have trouble socially, as that is the way the majority of their communication is done.

                          As for a provincial "decree"... why? Seems like grandstanding. Whats wrong with the school boards making policy around it? My son's school already does not allow them in class, what more is needed?

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by go riders View Post

                            Go to any meeting. How many people are actively participating vs looking at email/playing with their cell phone?
                            To me that says there are people at that meeting that don’t need to be. It also can be a indication of poor staffing levels.

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                            • #15
                              As a teacher I actually disagree with an all out ban. Like Andy, my students use them to listen to music while they are working and often use them to check spelling of words. We also use them during certain instructional times. There are online quizzes you can create for your students where they type a code into their cell phones and then are connected to the quiz and use their cell phones as the “remote” to answer. We actually used them at least three times a week during instructional times in my grade 8 classroom last year. I think it should be up to each individual school and even each individual teacher as to how they are utilized in the classroom, not the government.

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