Cellphones in class: Alberta won't follow Ontario's ban

Isaac Cain
March 14, 2019

According to The Canadian Press, the provincial government is planning to announce this week its intention to ban cellphones from Ontario classrooms.

"Ontario's students need to be able to focus on their learning", Ms Thompson wrote.

Ontario's students need to be able to focus on their learning - not their cellphones.

The ban follows government conducted education consultations previous year, in which 97 per cent of respondents stated they favoured restrictions on phones in class.

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

A study conducted by the London School of Economics and Political Science concluded that "student performance in high stakes exams significantly increases" with a ban on cellphones.

The impending cellphone ban was initially proposed by the Progressive Conservative party as part of their platform during last year's election campaign.

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"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".

"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.

The Ontario Public School Boards' Association did not provide comment Tuesday, but in its submission to the government consultations it had urged the province to continue allowing school boards to make their own decisions.

The move was praised by many, but some say the ban is antiquated and a missed opportunity to teach children about responsible technology use.

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.

Among the feedback sent to the ministry of education, educators complained that phones were not only a distraction but that students were also using them to cheat and share unflattering photographs of teachers on social media. These improvements were mostly demonstrated among the students who were typically "low achieving".

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