You have two months

One of the comments says it all…

How did we get by without one?

The topic was, of course, cellphones and was in response to this article in the Toronto Sun.

Ontario implementing classroom cellphone ban Nov. 4

The response is with respect to the distraction that can come along when the cellphone gets more attention than the teacher.

The topic has been debated on both sides for so long. There’s no point repeating the same arguments on both sides of this. They’ve long grown very tired.

I think the timing is interesting. If there was a concerted effort to ban them, then

  1. why not have it kick in September 2?
  2. why have all the exceptions to the ban?

It seems to me that these are deliberate loopholes to not come down with the heavy handed approach that some would like. The ultimate solution will come from school districts and individual teachers. A look around the province shows that the power of portable technology is known and understood by educators.

They know when it is appropriate and when it is a distraction.

They know the power of having up to date access to resources rather than relying on dated traditional textbooks and resources. They know that it’s pretty hard to justify using a videotape in the classroom, assuming they can find a television and a VCR player.

In particular, I find the second paragraph in the story telling.

But, of course, we got by without cellphones in the 70s and 80s. Back then, the technology was truly telephonic. They pale in comparison to the powerful smartphone devices that we have today. Who even uses the term cellphone for these things. That’s but one function that they have.

We know the power of the internet, connectiveness, and what technology enables in the classroom. A more interesting story might be that every student in the province will be assigned a computer to assist in their education. Of course, that won’t happen.

I’ll bet everyone can remember one dated silly thing you just had to learn – like Man Very Early Made Jars Stand Up Nearly Perpendicular – now that that information has been taking up room in my grey matter, I wonder if I could use it for something else. Today, I wouldn’t have to memorize that.

Author: dougpete

The content of this blog is generated by whatever strikes my fancy at any given point. It might be computers, weather, political, or something else in nature. I experiment and comment a lot on things so don't take anything here too seriously; I might change my mind a day later but what you read is my thought and opinion at the time I wrote it! My personal website is at: Follow me on Twitter: I'm bookmarking things at:

4 thoughts on “You have two months”


    Personally, I have taken great pleasure from the photo that has circulated recently on Twitter showing Stephen Lecce and a colleague engaged looking at a cell phone while the deputy house leader directly in front of them is addressing parliament. LOL. Time to practice what you preach, Minister.

    My perception is that whenever there is a public decision/announcement that needs to be made by the government regarding education, it typically takes little to no account of the actual school year calendar and/or timelines for implementation. The decisions are announced when they are politically advantageous, regardless of the challenges they create for school districts, schools, educators, students, and parents.

    A classic example would be the historic announcement of funding to support the purchase of textbooks for newly released curriculum. These announcements typically came with a very short time frame for spending, and usually resulted in Boards having to scramble to submit their purchase orders for existing text books (not textbooks that matches the new curriculum) — just a ridiculous situation.

    More recent examples would be the autism funding fiasco, the decreased funding for staffing which threw course selections, Staffing, and planning into the wind, the constant HPE curriculum waffling, and now the cell phone ban announcement a week before school starts.

    Speak to the public, let the schools and teachers make it work. Quite disrespectful.

    As for your closing ponder, these are the two I have known for years.

    My very energetic mother always jumps straight under normal pressure.
    Man very early made all jars stand up nearly perpendicular.

    There are more available if you search using the Google:
    or visit the Wikipedia entry:

    Sadly, Pluto got shafted in 2006, and so now kids learn things like:
    My Very Educated Mother [Amy*] Just Served Us Nachos. *my edit — remember the asteroids!



  2. People need a mnemonic to remember the order of the planets? 🙂

    I teach a course in mobile device programming. I require that my students bring their phones to class every day. The kids love that. I do warn them that if they get their phone taken before class because they use it when or where they are not supposed to use it that they are still responsible for the work in class. I hope it makes them more careful but who knows how kids think.


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