You Don’t Have To Be Smart To Be A Teacher In Ontario

I was appalled to read that a union of Catholic teachers in Ontario is demanding the removal of WiFi networking in schools for fear of the radio-frequency fields.

Is not one of the fundamental premises of education that cause-and-effect matters? How can these people pass the barriers to certification without rationality? Despite more than a century of RF technology no link has been found between cancer or other diseases. Most homes in Canada were electrified by the 1950s and radio and television was soon everywhere. Then came microwave ovens and PCs. WiFi is EM clutter, not a health hazard.

These are the same folks who take Spring/Christmas Break down in the tropics soaking up EM radiation from SUN in much greater doses than some battery-powered networked devices. Surely these Luddites would prefer us all to live in the dark at the bottom of caves in order to be safe from this peril. Even Sun floods us with radio waves. The curve going to zero below never becomes zero. Note the axis is watts/m2/nm. Catholic teachers! Stay indoors and draw your shades!

I knew a guy who worked in RF fields for decades. He started in WWII as a radio operator and died in the 1980s. I knew him when he worked on RF power supplies at the University of Manitoba Cyclotron Laboratory. He died old of kidney failure. If the little bit of RF experienced in a wireless network were dangerous that guy would have fallen dead decades earlier. He worked on transmitters delivering kilowatts that could be detected all over the building. Anyone who works on PCs and the like is also bathed in RF since clock-speeds of IT have risen to gigaHertz from megaHertz decades ago. The signal to noise ratio of WiFi systems I have used were very small (~ -60dB), meaning Nature was flooding us with more power than our narrow channels held. In EU, WiFi is limited to 100mW.

About Robert Pogson

I am a retired teacher in Canada. I taught in the subject areas where I have worked for almost forty years: maths, physics, chemistry and computers. I love hunting, fishing, picking berries and mushrooms, too.
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6 Responses to You Don’t Have To Be Smart To Be A Teacher In Ontario

  1. Roy says:

    I think librarians and physical books are a thing of the past. I’ve not gone to a library in four years. Every new article, journal, newspaper, blog, etc is online… If schools wanted to save money they would revamp the role of libraries and librarians. Of course the public has no knowledge that librarians earn the same as teachers in Ontario schools… yet they don’t deal with any marks, tests, marking and parental contacts that in-the-class teachers do. From what I found online, the librarian at my daughter’s school makes $94,000/year! With that money, every kid in her school could get a netbook! What a waste of tax dollars.

  2. Ray says:

    Luckily, with enough research and science, we can finally use Wi-fis.

  3. It’s a sad commentary on education when educators are in a deficit in educational technology. IT is a valuable tool for education. I have met far too many educators completely ignoring the benefits. I was in one school where the matter of IT came up in a staff meeting. I mentioned that thousands of dollars in grants were available to schools to upgrade IT. The principal spoke for the other staff saying they had enough IT with one teacher-only PC per classroom and a lab for students. I spoke with individual teachers who were quite desperate to meet the curriculum requirements to use IT in classrooms but were stifled by the principal. That same school had a photocopier that could be networked and did not even bother to hook it up. Most of the schools where I have worked did not even have a server on the LAN… I would bet there are several times as many students as teachers who are comfortable with using IT for learning.

    Just as a matter of efficiency, compare students being able to find, print, read documents from a server on the LAN compared with taking students down the hall to the library… Minutes of intense productivity compared with with an hour of moving about a library to no effect. Compare students just reading books and articles to students researching and writing them. Compare a school having constant turnover of staff and students with no database/searchable index with one that has a server keeping track of the production of the whole institution. There are some things that a computer can do so much faster than a human that it is pure waste to rely on the old technology for everything. So much of that gets in the way of students’ progress.

  4. Clarence Moon says:

    It is always necessary to adapt to reality, Mr. Pogson. You note that there are a meaningful number of people alarmed at the notion of radio frequency waves addling their brains or worse. You dismiss them as befuddled and ignorant, but that is not an effective way of removing the problem.

    You want WiFi to continue in the schools, you say, so you must find some way of overcoming this reluctance on the part of what seems to be an influential group.

  5. Michael Rudas, that’s amazing. Cause and effect. Pre-existing conditions. Time-dependence. Technology is wasted on some. They want to live in the Stone Age again.

  6. There’s a LOT of that going around these days. Quacks abound where there’s money or fame to be gleaned, and people listen. You think THAT’s bad? Get a load of THIS bull-puckey:
    http://youtu.be/4x6LNTdMVaU

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