Do not enforce Webcam usage
Do not enforce Webcam usage
Why this petition matters
The Gibraltar school District has opted to force students to have their cameras on during all classes. If they do not have their cameras on during class, they will be marked absent.
Here are some reasons why this is shouldn't happen:
Students may feel anxious about having their camera on.
A good amount of students may feel anxious or self-conscious about how they look, and if they have to deal with that feeling, they will likely pay less attention in class.
Everyone has a right to privacy, no matter what kind. Invading anyone's privacy for the sake of participation and attendance is complete nonsense. I am a firm believer that privacy is a fundamental human right, and that forcing cameras to be on is a violation of that right. There may also be family members who don't want to be on camera, or just simply other reasons students may want to remain private.
Chromebooks cannot handle multiple live camera streams with Zoom
It has been shown that Chromebooks are simply not powerful enough to run multiple live camera streams.
Students' internet may not be strong enough to handle multiple cameras (and mics) on.
Given the area we live in, some students do not have great internet, simply due to household income. While budget internet exists, it's still simply not fast enough to handle multiple camera streams on zoomThe cheapest option with Comcast / Xfinity is 25 Megabits per second download, with 5-10 Megabits per second upload. This is simply not enough for Zoom especially if there are multiple students in the house who are remotely learning, or one or two parents remotely working. This also doesn't include how ISPs (Internet Service Providers, such as Comcast) limits internet to around 1 Terabyte per month. This is also not enough for remote learning / working, but that is beside the point I am trying to make.
Having cameras on serves no purpose for any classes.
While having cameras on would technically show attendance, it should not be put on the student to have to show their face in order to not be marked absent. It should be up to the teachers to add onto their course to encourage class participation and attendance. This can include things such as: Questions every few minutes / slides in a slideshow, Group Discussions with the chat, Check-In Questions, and more. If the school and teachers want students to participate, then forcing camera usage is clearly not the right path to take. I am fully aware that not all teachers would be able to bend their material around this, but there is clearly a better option instead of forcing cameras on.
Almost all students are paying attention, it's just a minority who aren't.
I personally have seen only about 1-2 students in a few of my classes who weren't actually there and/or not paying attention in class. Collective Punishment is not the way to go about fixing this issue. Isolate who the students are, and punish them for not being in class. Do not punish the entire student body for something a small percentage of students are doing.
All in all, camera usage should not be forced on students, as it does absolutely nothing to class, and even makes learning harder for some, and that it is only a small majority who is causing this trouble. I am calling on Gibraltar School District and Carlson High School to reverse this action immediately. Thank you for reading.
- Gibraltar School District