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Online classes: 5 reasons students benefit from 'cameras off'

September 16, 2020. Summarized by summa-bot.

Online learning may help prevent the spread of Covid-19, but it's not without problems. Zoom classes can pose several challenges for students if they're required to keep cameras on during class, according to a behavioral researcher who studies the brain.

(CNN)As the 2020 to 2021 school year gets underway -- both at the K through 12 and college level -- many students find themselves attending online classes via Zoom or similar teleconferencing platforms.

Online, students are often expected by their teachers to look at the screen for the entire class and stay focused on the video feeds of their classmates.

This may mean that some students multitask by caring for their kids or siblings while attending an online class.

At school, students are not required to disclose details about their personal lives to their peers, but some of this privacy is lost in video-based classrooms.

The information provided by students could be accessed by others and the content of the video could expose the location of the student's home and with whom they live.

Requiring students to use video during class makes assumptions about the ability or students or their families to pay for the requisite technology.

Approximately 1 in 5 students live below the federal poverty line and lack access to the technology needed for online classes -- from computers or tablets to Wi-Fi. While some public school districts have made efforts to distribute tablets and laptops to students, there are other financial burdens that need to be considered.

Students may not want to share information about their living situation with their classmates, but a requirement to use video may force them to do so since their peers might realize what's going on when students have to connect to class from their cars or local establishments.

These concerns about required video in online classes are not aimed to prevent teachers connecting with students.

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