Student Cameras: A requirement, or simply a nuisance?

Is seeing the student appearance really worth the hassle?

John Bumgarner, Staff reporter

This is one of the debates that has been going on since online school was first done. Instead of the smiling, or frowning faces of their students, teachers sometimes have to look at a smorgasbord of images, that the students have chosen as their profile pictures. This may not seem like a problem to the students, who have the freedom to do what they like while the teacher is speaking, but sometimes, the teacher may feel like they’re talking to an empty room, with no facial expressions to confirm the students are hearing them. 

Most students would prefer to keep their cameras off, it would seem. They may have their devices located in their rooms, which they’d rather keep private, or they may be much more unkempt in outfit or hair than in normal school, and don’t want to show off their “New Look.” It could just be they want to be able to get up and leave for a little bit if the teacher has finished talking. Most of the time, students relish the ability to have their cameras off, because it means they don’t need to worry what other people may think of them, since they can’t see them. Wesley Bumgarner (‘23) explained his thoughts on why he preferred to have his camera off, and he said, “off, probably just because I don’t like it on… I don’t know. I just prefer it to be off. I’m not sure why, honestly, I just like it to be off.” 

However, on the other side of the screen, teachers have the exact opposite opinion. Most of the time, teachers will prefer students to keep their cameras on, as to look at students’ expressions, or simply to make sure their audience hasn’t left for a snack. However, it’s hard to get the students to turn on their cameras, and the teachers can’t exactly force them without outcry.