cameras on during class sessions. If you're not familiar with some of the privacy and equity issues associated with such a requirement, check out this infographic by Dr. Torrey Trust from the University of Massachusetts Amherst.
Empowering Students to Decide
I see the ability to turn cameras on (and off) as a perfect opportunity to help students become more in touch with their learning preferences and needs, and to take more ownership of their learning environment.
According to the ISTE Standards for Students, students are empowered learners when they customize their learning environment in both physical and online settings by making choices that support their learning process and make learning more accessible (ISTE Standard 1b).
Since there are benefits to students turning their cameras on, as well as remaining off camera, why don't we forgo a "one size fits all" requirement and instead, let students decide? We can guide students to consider the benefits and choose what feels best each day and in each moment.
Can students make good decisions? Might doing so inspire more student ownership over remote learning?
Yes. They can, and it does. This is what empowered learning is all about!
How can I provide guidance?
I've created a resource to help teachers begin this conversation with students. I hope it helps both teachers and students identify reasons they may want to be on camera, and the reasons they may not, so they are better equipped to customize their learning environment.
Please use and share this resource with colleagues.
As we continue refining our remote learning practices, new questions will continue to arise each day about how to manage the digital learning environment. Whether to have students on camera is one, and there will be a thousand more. Let's continue to talk, to discuss, to debate, and learn from one another so that we may identify/create best practices together. Thank you, teachers, for all you're doing now and always.
I care deeply about helping educators cultivate healthy environments where every student and teacher can learn, grow, and thrive in this digital world!