Editorial: Smartphones are here to stay

A high school should be the last place you find opposition to progress.

Yet, every so often, one school district or another attempts to block access to social media channels like Facebook, Snapchat or whatever is the latest craze. In Ontario they are even attempting to restrict smartphones altogether, but in the long run, this ill-thought-out policy is doomed.

First, Ontario’s restrictions are no more than what would be polite, or even already in place by classroom teachers.

And if teens are really determined to use their phones, they will find a way.

But mostly, trying to restrict technology is impossible. Whatever rules you think are workable today, aren’t going to be a year or two from now, as tech become more and more integrated with our daily lives.

It’s kind of like the story of the boy with his finger in the dyke trying to hold back the flood, except, in this case, more holes are appearing all the time.

On the other hand, educators in schools could do just that: educate. Social media, instant access to information and all the other things that come with living in the Information Age are an integral part of our lives.

There are many things, though, that they need to learn. Proper use of technology and smartphone etiquette should be a formal course, taught at all grade levels.

Not pulling out your phone to text a friend while a teacher is on stage would be a basic rule, the same as passing notes in class has always been forbidden.

It’s certainly reasonable for teachers to require students to put their devices away if they aren’t required in class, but it’s just as reasonable for students to make use of them when needed.

There was a time when the use of electronic calculators was forbidden. That eventually failed as they became more common.

There is no point in trying to turn the clock back or make inflexible rules; there is just no telling what changes tech will bring in the future.

The way forward is not to say no, but to teach when and how.

– Black Press Media

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Comox Valley gives back

Comox Valley businesses, organizations and individuals helping improve the lives of others

Comox Valley playgrounds, outdoor fitness stations now open

School District 71 and Comox Valley local governments have reopened outdoor playgrounds… Continue reading

City of Courtenay outlines changes to property tax payment options due to COVID-19

Courtenay property tax notices were mailed on May 27-28, and will be… Continue reading

Comox Museum exhibits available for online viewing

Visit all the Comox Museum exhibits from your home, on its website

VIDEO: A Vancouver Island black bear takes weekend nap in eagle tree

Videos captured by Terry Eissfeldt shows the bear arriving Saturday night and sleeping in on Sunday

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world in ways that would have… Continue reading

Summer tubing ban on Cowichan River lifted

The Tube Shack opening on June 27

North Island College students printing safety gear

Industrial automation students use program smarts to help others

NDP getting COVID-19 wage subsidy ‘indirectly,’ B.C. Liberal leader says

B.C. NDP says Andrew Wilkinson is wrong about federal link

Parent, superintendent, trustee report smooth return to classrooms in B.C.

The biggest challenge is convincing families that it’s safe, some say

Vancouver Island grizzlies: moving in, or just passing through?

Lack of data makes seeming increase in grizzly sightings on the North Island an open question

Most Read