Monday, November 4, 2019

Phones are officially banned in Ontario classrooms starting today

The controversial and contentious cell phone ban comes into effect in Ontario classrooms today, and residents appear to be as divided as ever on the subject. 

Back in August, Minister of Education Stephen Lecce said mobile phones would be banned from classrooms starting in November unless they're being used for educational purposes, medical purposes or for special education needs.

At the time, the PC government said that during consultations with parents, students and educators last year, 97 per cent said cell phone use should be restricted in some way.

But many have expressed concerns about the fact that this takes the decision out of the hands of capable teachers, many of whom already have their own cell phone rules in place. 

And on top of that, many have said eliminating cell phones from the classroom is problematic considering their prominence in most facets of life today.

Cell phones were once banned in Toronto District School Board schools, but the board reversed it to allow teachers to decide on an individual basis. 

"The objective of the cell phone restrictions is about really changing the culture in classrooms," Lecce said earlier today.

"I think there's a recognition overwhelmingly from parents and educators alike, and even some honest students who will tell you that technology can be and should be embraced. As a generational public servant I think technological fluidity is actually critical to marketplace."

As teachers often do, many are turning the first day of the ban into learning opportunities for their students. 

And some students are even tweeting about the ban directly from their classroom as a way of rebelling against the ban. 

The first day of Ontario's classroom cell phone ban isn't even halfway over, but already concerns about teachers' ability to effectively enforce these restrictions appear to be ringing true. 

Only time will tell whether this ban truly proves effective in classrooms across the province. 


by Mira Miller via blogTO

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