The Importance of Zoom Cameras


Venice Poggi, Staff Writer

Living in a digital age, it can be hard to connect with others to form lasting relationships. This is especially true in the new terrain of online school. 

Through our time in distance learning, we have developed the habit of leaving our cameras off. Although this may not seem like it, this provides a significant disadvantage to us as well as our teachers. 

What we seem to forget in the world of online education is that teachers are going through a difficult time as well. One of the joys of teaching is connecting and creating and fostering meaningful relationships with students, however this online format takes that very essential part of teaching away. This is exacerbated by the fact that many students do not have their cameras on. 

This lack of student-teacher relationships actually affects our in class learning severely.

According to Education Week again, “A Review of Educational Research analysis of 46 studies found that strong teacher-student relationships were associated in both the short- and long-term with improvements on practically every measure schools care about: higher student academic engagement, attendance, grades, fewer disruptive behaviors and suspensions, and lower school dropout rates. Those effects were strong even after controlling for differences in students’ individual, family, and school backgrounds.” Showing that students also greatly benefit from these relationships, relationships that we’re not getting to enjoy currently. 

As I said before, we’re not the only ones negatively affected by this change. In fact according to Education Week, a study in the European Journal of Psychosocial found that the best predictor of whether a teacher felt joy or anxiety in class, was their relationships with their students.  

As shown in a survey done earlier this year by the Sophomore Class Council the thing that would make teaching easier for a majority of teachers would be cameras on, and for students to be actively engaged in class. 

In the same survey when asked from a scale of 1-10,  “how much easier is it for you to teach when student cameras are on,” 51.1 percent of the 47 teachers surveyed rated it a 10 in importance. Because of our cameras being off, teachers are having a harder time teaching their students. This may point to the lack of teacher student relationships, as many teachers report feeling as though they are only talking to a group of black squares instead of students. 

So the next time you are in class consider turning on your camera because not only does it affect you, but it also affects the professional wellbeing of your teachers.