Cellphone ban in Ontario classrooms comes into effect on Monday

Exceptions to the ban will be made if the devices are required for health and medical purposes

As of Monday, Ontario students will no longer be able to use their cellphones in classrooms.

The Progressive Conservative government announced back in August that they would be implementing a ban on personal mobile devices inside classrooms or during “instructional time.”

Exceptions to the ban will be made if the devices are required for health and medical purposes, to support special education needs or if an educator says it is necessary for the lesson.

The Toronto District School Board abandoned a cellphone ban in 2011 after officials determined it was too difficult to enforce. Lecce has previously said that he hopes a “provincial approach” will be more beneficial.

“Historically, some boards did have this type of restriction, however as with many of the restrictions put in place, or protocols put in place, it was a disjointed approach,” Lecce said in August.

A Toronto-area supply teacher said on Sunday that it is impossible for a teacher to control 30 students who may be looking at their phones in class.

“I think that cellphones can be a good tool for learning, especially for classrooms who are low on technology but I think there needs to be stricter rules in place. It’s incredibly hard for teachers to control what students are doing on their phone unless they are watching each student individuals,” the teacher said.

At the same time, she said that teachers should have more access to technology for their lessons.

“Until then, we have to make sure we have something in place so that students can do their research adequately,” she said. “As long as students are using them for school, I think a lot of teachers are on board.”

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