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Side-by-Side: Should Students Turn Their Cameras on During Class?

by Nicole Cortino and Eleanor Withers

Eleanor and Nicole debate the pros and cons of turning your camera on during Zoom classes.


Connect Your Cameras
by Nicole Cortino

I can admit that waking up five minutes from class is a cool advantage to remote learning, but it’s not cool for my education. I rush to log into Zoom, I’m insecure about my messy hair and pajama shirts, and I can’t focus when I’m still trying to rub the sleepiness and blurry vision out of my eyes.

Sure, I could conform to the rest of my classmates and complete the never-ending black boxes on the instructor’s screen. Or, I could feed myself, and wash my face to feel refreshed, straighten my posture to increase my confidence, and ultimately better my mental health and retention abilities to learn.

Professors miss interacting with students and now, they talk to practically nothing, if that’s how their students/classes behave. Multiple incidents have occurred where a student does not respond to a direct question, leaving the professor thinking they are not watching or listening to class because their screen is blank.

I turn my camera off when I know I have something else that needs my attention. This provides my professors the understanding that I am following along, and able to take part, but when I can’t, they know.

We are all struggling with social-distancing and lack of interactions this model of learning has to offer, but we could make it better by keeping our cameras on and actively learning during class time.


No Cameras, Please!
by Eleanor Withers

Photo by Scott Graham on Unsplash.

When a student wakes up and remembers the busy schedule that’s ahead of them, the last thing they need to worry about is their physical appearance.  Everyone knows the stereotypes of overworked, caffeine-fueled, college students rolling into class with dead eyes and baggy sweatpants.  Their goal is not to look nice, it’s to get their work done.  The same principle applies for online classes.  Students roll out of bed putting even less effort into their morning routine.  No one is benefiting from seeing college students in their stained pajamas and mouth guard.

The main point of class is to listen to the professor and if anything, look at notes or the board, not to look around at other students. Plus, some students do not have a quiet place to attend classes.  Their Zoom backgrounds could be filled with hustle and bustle that is out of their control, so it is unfair for professors to force students to show their living conditions since they are not on campus.

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