Cameras on zoom
Everyday Freshman Sophia Ortega shows up to class debating on turning on her camera she doesn’t know if it is worth it or not. “I got to my first class so tired. I understand that teacher want to see if we are paying attention or not but I don’t feel the want or need to.” Ortega said. Like other freshmen, Ortega was hoping to have a great first year of high school, but that expectation has changed through distance learning and using Zoom for classes. Ortega finds the importance of having the cameras on but sometimes doesn’t have the will to turn it on most mornings. Sophia hears her teachers complain about kids with no zoom cameras everyday, “Everyday I hear the same old same old that teachers want to see our bright faces and want us to be engaged but during this time in Covid I’m insecure about everything and get distracted.” Ortega said. She exclaims that she knows how the teachers must feel and how isolated they’re but for personal reasons she can’t. Especially with everything that is going on in the house, she feels embarrassed. “My little brothers come and jumps all over me all the time and I can’t get them under control it’s embarrassing think of what the teachers would say and also It’s so sad looking at there faces looking at black screens but for me it’s for a different circumstances.” Ortega said.
Math teacher Toby Jaw shares his feelings about the lack of cameras on zoom. “I see black screens all the time. I try motivating the kids to turn them on so I can see their faces....” Jaw felt some frustration with decrease of participation and motivation of his students while he’s teaching online. “Everyday for 3 hours I teach students sure some class have more screen on but most don’t Teaching in silence is so different from what I used to do in normal classroom I understand people have certain circumstances but some don’t I wish people tried a little harder.”
While most students decide not to turn their cameras on, junior Kailee Merdiros has a different opinion “With learning, people should be present; people should know what they’re doing most teens have their cameras off because they’re on their phones because they’re comfortable at homes with no real discipline from the teachers.” Merdiros said.
As there doesn’t seem to be an end to Zoom learning in the foreseeable future, both students and teachers must deal with cameras and participation in class at least until the summer. Teachers like Jaw are worried about what consequences this lack of cameras can have on students in the future. “At the end of day it’s the students choice but with screens off it harms their learning I wish they know how this will impact them”.