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Good Or Bad?: Turning on Cameras and Mics

Are cameras and mics during zoom calls good or bad?

Last week, students from both blue and gold groups began the start of remote learning by following their schedules and attending classes virtually. Most teachers are requiring that their students turn on their cameras and/or mics which isn’t widely appreciated by students.

Why being required to turn our CAMERA on is a BAD idea:

  1. While on a meeting, students have the option to see the gallery view. This means they can see all the other students. This can be distracting especially if another student is fooling around or laughing. 
  1. The background might be cluttered or messy. One might not have a clean, open room to use while on meetings. We shouldn’t have to worry about how our house looks just because we have to do remote learning.
  1. By accident, a sibling or another family member might walk in the background. If your camera is on, classmates can be distracted by this movement. If the camera and mic are both off, you can tell your sibling or family member to leave without showing what’s happening or distracting others.
  1. It can be difficult trying to pay attention to the teacher when you’re worried about whether or not you look fine. Everyone can see you on their iPad and it’s a bit distracting making sure you’re not embarrassing yourself.

Why being required to turn our MIC on is a BAD idea:

  1. Some students come from a big family and have a lot of siblings. Siblings can be annoying and loud at times. There might be a loud background noise. Including, a parent cooking, on the phone, or siblings yelling. If your mic is on, it’s embarrassing for classmates to hear the noises and distracting to hear other people’s noises. It’s hard to hear what the teacher is saying when you have to hear what’s happening in all of your classmates’ households.

Why being required to turn on our CAMERA and MIC  is a GOOD idea:

  1. Teachers can make sure that all students are well at home. They can even ask how their students are doing or if they’re okay. It makes sure we can connect with our class during this hard time.
  1. The teacher can make sure everyone is actually watching the meeting if they require the camera to be on. Having the mic and camera on helps with participation. It prevents the teacher from speaking to a blank screen. If the teacher is calling on students, the students will be more likely to pay attention to avoid not knowing the answer to a question.
  1. Having the camera on can help with communicating face to face. It is the only time we’re able to see each other’s face fully without having to wear masks like we do in person.

It is understandable that most teachers are only requiring that students turn on their mics only when they need to talk. It is a good idea as there won’t be too much background noise going on throughout the meeting and students won’t have to worry about whether or not a family member might make noise at any given moment. Having our mics and cameras on during a meeting can ensure that the teacher knows all students are actually watching, but just because students are watching with their eyes, doesn’t mean they’re actually focused and paying attention.

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