E-learning: Should Virtual Appearance Be Required?


In 2020, the government had declared that we were officially in a global pandemic from a fatal virus known as, COVID-19. The spread of the disease grew rapidly and before we knew it, society had dramatically changed. As a result, jobs were shortened and threatened, resources became scarce, and social distancing guidelines were put into effect. One of the major changes stemming from social distancing was schooling. Many schools have been forced to participate over computers instead of normally coming into class, which have created some problems between students and teacher.       

Photo by Kaitlyn Guzman

 From the moment, Carbondale Community High School (CCHS), started, camera appearances have been a constant problem. Kids have them on, then off, then on, and off again and will leave it off permanently. This has incited a lot of concerns from the teachers about if it should be allowed. Many teachers are practically forcing their students to keep their cameras on because it “’shows” they’re participating. But is seeing someone’s face enough reason or is just a false narrative to get us to comply? Some of the teachers don’t even enforce it, but those who do don’t even do it because of lack of participation.  Some might do it because they feel uncomfortable looking at blank screens while trying to teach or because they might want to see what you’re doing, but how does that reflect your participation? It doesn’t. I don’t think you need a camera to reflect how much you participate and participation should not be required if someone doesn’t want to. 

Normally, whenever you’re in the classroom and decide not to take part in the activity your teachers present you with, you suffer the consequences, like getting a bad grade. So, if we are trying to normalize e-learning, then why does “participating” over a computer screen have to be forced but not when students are in personIt’s hypocriticalBut from the other side of things, students see it as a waste of time and unnecessary if it’s not dealing with their grades. Students take the time and effort to just join class meetings and turning in their work. Besides, some kids have issues with showing their environment and are shy at having other people look at them, why try to manipulate them by making them interact if they’re not comfortable with it. It’s stressful and we should try to minimize stress, not maximize it with the year being already overwhelming.