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Cellphone ban in classrooms goes into effect

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TORONTO—New restrictions on the use of cellphones in classrooms across Ontario went into effect today.

The directive says students can only use personal mobile devices during instructional time if it's for educational purposes, for health or medical purposes, or for special needs.

Some schools already have similar policies, but the directive sets a provincial standard.

Doug Ford's Progressive Conservative government conducted education consultations last year, and respondents overwhelmingly favoured some sort of restriction on phones in class.

The Toronto District School Board used to have a cellphone ban, but reversed it after four years to let teachers dictate what works best for their classrooms.

A 2015 London School of Economics and Political Science paper found that “student performance in high-stakes exams significantly increases” with a ban on mobile phones.

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