Hashtag Trending – Classrooms ban phones, Facebook rethinking ‘likes’, Airbnb versus rental market

Ontario says no to cellphones in classrooms, Facebook isn’t sure about its own ‘like’ button, and a new study sheds light on Airbnb’s impact on Toronto’s rental market.

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While several schools have implemented a similar policy, Ontario is setting a new provincial standard starting November 4th to ban cellphones from the classroom. The new policy states students can only use their phones during teaching time if it’s for education purposes, or for special needs and medical purposes. The news has been shared across hundreds of accounts on LinkedIn – most are happy with the move, but a few suggest this is actually a step backward, and that it removes another compelling way to learn in the classroom, and that the new policy will be next to impossible to enforce.

TechCrunch’s reporting on Facebook’s decision to consider removing the number of ‘likes’ on posts has turned heads across social media. Facebook’s slashing of its popularity metrics follows in the footsteps of Instagram, which is testing the removal of the number of likes photos get in seven countries, including Canada. As of this recording, Facebook did not share any details or results from its Instagram Like hiding tests. Will removing ‘like’ counts put less pressure on users and encourage them to share more freely and frequently? Will it improve mental health among young people who use the platform and become obsessed with the numbers? We’ll just have to wait and see.

And lastly, a new research study that says approximately 5,300 short-term rentals could be returned to Toronto’s housing stock if the city’s new short term rental bylaws were to take effect is garnering a lot of chatter online. A planning professor who holds a Canada Research Chair in Urban Governance, has led academic studies of the impact of Airbnb in several cities, including Toronto. His analysis on Toronto is part of the information being presented to the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal, where Airbnb is making its case against the new bylaws. There are currently more than 21,000 Airbnb listings in Toronto. Reactions to the study are mixed – many are happy about the potential for the city’s housing supply to grow at the cost of thousands of Airbnb listings going out of business. The LPAT hearings, as of this recording, were still ongoing.

That’s all the tech news that’s trending right now. Hashtag Trending is a part of the ITWC Podcast network. Add us to your Alexa Flash Briefing or your Google Home daily briefing.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada
Alex Coop
Alex Coophttp://www.itwc.ca
Former Editorial Director for IT World Canada and its sister publications.

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