Alberta Education Update (2024-06-17)

NEW: Mobile Device Policy in Schools
Posted on 06/17/2024
NEW: Mobile Device Policy in Schools

Alberta Education Update: New Mobile Device Policy in Schools

Key Points from AB Gov't announcement:

  1. UNESCO Report and Research Findings

    • The 2023 UNESCO report supports limiting mobile device use in schools, highlighting that even when not in use, these devices can be a distraction.
    • There are concerns about students' mental health due to the use of social media and other apps.
  2. Survey Results and Public Opinion

    • A survey with 68,000 responses revealed that most participants agree on the negative impacts of mobile device use in schools.
  3. New Alberta Gov't Policy Announcement

    • Starting September 1, 2024, a new ministerial order will restrict the use of personal mobile devices during instructional time.
    • Exceptions will be made for medical reasons, special needs, and on a case-by-case basis as determined by the principal.
    • Personal Mobile Devices include cell phones, smart phones, smart watches, headphones and other electrionic devices.
    • During class time, personal mobile devices must be turned off and stored out of sight,
    • Schools will be required to notify parents if a student violates the new rules.
  4. Allowed Use Times

    • Students will be permitted to use their mobile devices during breaks and before and after school hours.
  5. Policy Development and Parental Involvement

    • School boards are required to develop specific policies and administrative procedures (APs) by January 1, 2025.
    • These policies must be shared with parents annually.
    • The above information is the minimm requirement. Schools Boards have the autonomy to create guidelines/policies that included the above and other restrictions.

Next Steps for Parents

  • Stay informed about the new policies as they are developed and implemented.
  • Engage with your school’s parent council to share your thoughts and concerns about the mobile device policy.
  • Discuss the upcoming changes with your child to ensure they understand the new rules and the reasons behind them.