Cell phone restrictions in effect for Ontario classrooms
Chris Thomson, CTV Kitchener
Published Monday, November 4, 2019 6:20AM EST
Last Updated Monday, November 4, 2019 4:50PM EST
KITCHENER - Ontario students are now allowed little to no use of their mobile devices in the classroom.
The ban from the provincial government on cell phones inside classrooms or during instructional time came into effect on Monday.
“When in class, students should be focused on their studies and not on social media,” said Ontario education minister Stephen Lecce. “The restrictions are another step forward in providing a focused and academically-enriched learning environment for our students.”
The province says that 97 per cent of parents, students, and teachers who took part in a 2018 education reform consultation said cell phones should be restricted in some way.
“It takes all partners, parents, teachers, and students themselves, to embrace a new culture of learning,” said Lecce. “We’re going to continue to embrace technology in the classroom, but if it’s not for academic achievement, scholastic purposes, or instruction based, it’s not going to be in the class.”
Exceptions to the ban will be made if the devices are required for medical purposes, to support special needs, or if an educator says it’s necessary for the lesson.
A spokesperson for the Waterloo Region District Catholic Board says that "no one size fits all."
"The school board actually has provisions in place that encourage students to bring personal electronic devices (including smartphones) to class to assist with their learning," John Shewchuk tells CTV in an email.
"So the vast majority of students will have some sort of devise with them in class."
He says that conseuqnces for inappropriate use of cell phones, though, can range from admonishment to meetings with parents or administrators for repeated use.