To ban or not to ban, that is the question facing Quebec school boards as they consider following the example of Ontario in not allowing cell phones in classrooms.

Dr. Steven Shaw, a child psychologist and researcher at McGill University, says that there is evidence that academic performance improves without the gadgets but that a ban may not be a good idea.

The London Economics School did a study that showed that lower-performing students did score better in environments where cell phones were banned.

He has no problem with bans but feels that innovative teachers may be inadvertently punished.

“It kind of shuts them out of the opportunity to teach kids in a new way,” he said. 

Despite the constant screen time, Shaw looks at cell phones as an opportunity to learn in new and creative ways. 

“Taking it away from being a social or play device is probably good, but it is a tool that could be used for teaching,” he said. 

“To have a restriction on an entertainment device, that’s reasonable. But it could be a teaching tool.”