Junior Mattaniah Wilson said she does not feel comfortable doing her work if she is forced to have her camera on during class.
Wilson said it is awkward to use cameras when students are not collaborating and teachers are lecturing, and she feels more comfortable working and listening to teachers without the pressure of being on camera. She also said her peers are discouraged from turning on their cameras, not only because it is uncomfortable, but because home lives have been hectic since quarantine began.
“I think [sharing video] would be distracting because most people have other things going on at home while they’re in class,” Wilson said.
Social studies teacher Sandra Dougherty said most students share Wilson’s aversion to turning cameras on during class.
“Everyone for every class turns them [cameras] off,” Dougherty said. “Some kids turn them on in breakout rooms but for lectures and synchronous times, they’re off.”
But not all students are more comfortable with their cameras off. Junior Aysha Tibbs said she feels negatively impacted by the faceless classrooms she is in.
“I don’t feel motivated at all,” Tibbs said. “ I feel depressed even.”
Tibbs said she feels the main reason for her peers’ discomfort with being on camera is that nobody does it.
“They’re too embarrassed or shy,” Tibbs said. “Sometimes someone else will turn their camera on but most times no one does. It’s so awkward. But, I think if a couple people normalize it, it’ll start to be a comfortable thing.”