Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Wifi in schools - a safety risk?

Considerable debate has begun about the safety of wifi in Victoria schools. A teacher presented to the Board last spring, and three more presentations are scheduled for the November 8th Operations subcommittee meeting.

While the evidence may not yet be conclusive, there is good reason to apply the precautionary principle - ensure it is safe before continued expansion of devices and transmitters in schools and classrooms. This is the approach the Vancouver School Board has taken, citing medical evidence of correlations between EMF frequency and certain cancers and other health effects. There is the added issue that we need to understand the health effects on children, who may respond differently and tolerate lower levels of EMF than adults.

With the Ministry looking at the use of mobile devices in their 21 Century Learning Initiative, it is more important than ever to have this debate and look carefully at the research before we embark on classrooms where every child carries a cell phone and an ipad, where wireless labs are ubiquitous, and were wireless transmitters are upgraded to facilitate this explosion in devices.

Here are some articles on the issue:


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