Sydney Alphin, @sydney.maya on Instagram
Junior Sydney Alphin never thought she’d have to invite all of her classmates into her home. However, as of November 4, “cameras on” became mandatory for all online students.
“I’m just not comfortable with inviting the whole class into my personal life and house,” Alphin said.
However, she also recognizes the good reasons for the directive.
“I’m surprised they didn’t enforce this earlier,” said Alphin. “I completely understand why they’re making it mandatory, considering kids could easily be disengaged from class or skip it altogether, but I wish it didn’t come to this.”
Junior Alyzabeth Bridgham shared the same sentiment.
“I understand why,” she said, “but I don’t like that we have to. It’s my privacy.”
For others, being on camera all the time is stressful. Anna Bartosh, a former Kempsville High School student, said, “I really don’t want to. I feel super nervous and self-conscious with it on. It makes it harder to concentrate on the lesson.”
Senior Emma Staicer stated that the camera mandate is “an invasion of privacy.”
For Staicer, her focus on class is being thrown off, too. “People’s cameras being on is super distracting for me.”
For the most part, it seems that educators are on board with the new rule as they often describe how difficult it is to teach a grid of black boxes. Additionally, there have been many instances of students leaving, not paying attention, or falling asleep in class. Teachers are often left with one or two unresponsive student windows when assigning breakout rooms or ending class.
For now, adjusting to life on camera is just one more challenge students and teachers must overcome in the COVID-19 school scene.