Ontario to ban cellphones from classrooms during instructional time

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NDP MPP Ian Arthur said his party supports the idea in general but teachers and school boards now have the power to ban cellphones.

Christine Schandl, of People for Education, said if cellphone use is left to the discretion of principals and teachers, then the policy will be similar to what now exists.

"Minister Eggen trusts Alberta's teachers and school boards to make their own rules regarding the use of cellphones in their classrooms", he said Tuesday.

The ban will not apply to cellphone use for educational, health and medical purposes or as support for those students with special needs.

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

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

Harvey Bischof, president of the Ontario Secondary School Teachers' Federation, said it doesn't sound like the policy will differ from what is already happening in schools.

Whether or not cell phones are allowed in class is up to individual schools, according to English School Board policy in this province.

In Alberta, Philip McRae has been conducting research on the impact of technology on students for years.

"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.

"It's not necessarily sustainable", he told CTV Edmonton on Tuesday.

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.

"Technology isn't good or bad, it's both", he explained.

The formal announcement of the ban is expected in the near future.

"I think we really need to think progressively about this and say, 'OK, this technology is here, it's real". Or, we could rely on the results of a junk survey to make policy decisions.

"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".

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