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Canadian teacher’s union says beware of Wi-Fi

| September 11, 2012 | 0 Comments

A teacher’s union in Canada has made a surprising statement. The Ontario English Catholic Teachers Association (OECTA) is concerned about the increase of wireless devices like iPads in primary schools, saying it “may present a potential health and safety risk or hazard in the workplace”.

Wireless internet has been made increasingly available in 81 school districts in Ontario over the past three years, to the delight of many educationists, who say it will make teaching remote and widely dispersed student populations much easier.

Many have scoffed at OECTA’s claims, calling them oldfashioned. Says Iain Martel, chair and spokesperson for the Committee for the Advancement of Scientific Scepticism: “The OECTA goes overboard in advocating an overly cautious approach to the use of Wi-Fi technology in schools. There is no plausible mechanism by which such technology could cause harm, and no good evidence of any harm.”

However, the World Health Organisation disagrees, putting radio frequency energy emitted from cellphones and other Wi-Fi connections on the list of things that are possibly carcinogenic to humans.

OECTA plans to take its case about Wi-Fi to individual school boards and the Ontario Labour and Education ministries.

Category: e-Education, Spring 2012

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