Having cameras on during distance learning can be an awkward thing for students to have to do in their classes.
A lot of students dislike the idea that their classmates can always see them, or are uncomfortable at the fact that students can see directly into their rooms. Keeping cameras on during class can also sometimes contribute to internet problems, which makes it more difficult to complete classwork. However, teachers usually prefer that everyone in the class keeps their cameras on.
CVHS teachers have different policies on having cameras on in class, even though they seem to prefer it when they can see students’ faces. In some of my classes, we are required to have our cameras on, while in other classes we are allowed to have them off.
It would be beneficial to both students and teachers if virtual meeting companies including Zoom and Google Meet could create a new feature for cameras, so that only teachers would be able to see students’ faces. With a system like this, teachers could see everyone in class, and be able to make sure students are engaged. They would also get the sense of normalcy that comes with seeing a class full of students. However, when students look at the class, they aren’t able to see everyone elses faces.
For me personally, I always feel self-conscious that other students can see me during class, and would rather keep my camera off. However, I feel guilty for keeping it off when I see my teachers having to teach to a screen full of little icons.
I also understand why teachers want to be able to see students during class. When teachers can see the class, they can make sure that students are still participating, and are also able to see how they respond to the material.
If there was a system in place so that only teachers could see students’ faces, I think that students would feel more comfortable with having their cameras on. Without the pressure of worrying about how classmates see you through the screen, it would be less stressful for students to keep their cameras on.