TV screens coming to Toronto schools, students may briefly look up from their iPhones and notice
When money’s tight, firms look for new revenue streams, so this story isn’t really all that big a deal—except that the “firm” in this case is the Toronto District School Board, and the “revenue stream” is a gateway drug to commercial advertising. The Toronto Star reports that the TDSB is looking at installing flat-screen TVs at some 70 schools.
Right now, the seven-year proposal says that apart from mostly providing school and exam information, as well as showcasing student work, allowable advertising would come from non-commercial sponsors such as the Milk Marketing Board, colleges and universities, government and media sources.
“I think that school needs to be a learning environment, not a marketplace,” said Zane Schwartz, student trustee for the board, adding non-commercial sponsors “still want to sell something, which in my mind is commercial.”
It’s good to know that whatever else happens, the city’s children will be bombarded with those awful five-second ads from the milk industry. Way to shorten their attention span even further, school board.
If concerned parents are that worried about the effects of advertising on television screens in schools (as opposed to the ads their teenagers see on TV, in newspapers, magazines and on their smartphones), we suggest they take the hint from schools in Barrie and simply raise a scare about electromagnetic interference causing all sorts of weird symptoms in their children at school, like distractedness, lethargy and an intense desire to be anywhere else. Clearly, there’s no better explanation.