York Catholic District School Board is supporting the expansion of technology use in our schools to help prepare students for their educational journey to secondary, post- secondary and the global work place. Through wireless technology, teachers and students can engage in new and innovative learning environments, through modern classroom tools, that help students to grow and experience success. Our 21st Century Learning environment aligns with the Ontario Ministry of Education curriculum and 21st Century Learning initiatives.
We are committed to providing a safe place to learn for students and as such look to trusted public health authorities and experts on the safety of Wi-Fi. YCDSB will continue to rely and follow the guidelines set by these organizations as accepted parameters for use of Wi-Fi technology in our schools. York Catholic District School Board will continue to monitor the standards set by the government and will review our use of this technology as necessary.
The following information and links can provide more information on this topic.
Health Canada and Safety Code 6 (2015)
Health Canada has a guideline entitled “Safety Code 6 (2015): Limits of Human Exposure to Radio frequency Electromagnetic Energy in the Frequency Range from 3 KHZ to 300 GHZ“. Health Canada has determined that low level exposure to Wi-Fi is not harmful.
Public Health Ontario
Public Health Ontario has stated that “There have been numerous studies on radiofrequency (RF) exposure and its impacts on human health, but to date there is no plausible evidence indicating current public exposure to wireless Internet (Wi-Fi) connections is causing adverse effects on health”.
World Health Organization (WHO)
The World Health Organization (WHO) has stated that “Considering the very low exposure levels and research results collected to date, there is no convincing scientific evidence that the weak RF signals from base stations and wireless networks cause adverse health effects”.
The “Precautionary Principle” is defined as “if an action or policy has a suspected risk of causing harm to the public or to the environment, in the absence of scientific consensus that the action or policy is harmful, the burden of proof that it is not harmful falls on those taking the act.” Health Canada has stated that “no precautionary measures are needed. Wi-Fi exposures are typically well below Canadian and international exposure limits, and there is no convincing evidence that they are a health hazard”.
Hard Wired vs. Wi-Fi
In hard-wired environments, only a few devices could be used at a time and students wouldn’t be able to access information as quickly. As well, tablets and other personal electronic devices cannot connect to a hard-wired network. Installing only hard-wired networks in our schools would significantly limit staff and student use of technology. Mobility increases opportunities for collaboration and creativity, thus increasing the ability of students to demonstrate their learning.