During EC Virtual classes, we ask all students to have their cameras on. The reasons for having cameras on in live online learning lessons are simple: we make judgments based on facial expressions and body language and we decide if someone understands or if they are confused or if they are bored using those expressions. In the online world we use cameras so we can see you and see that you are engaged and understand as you, the learner, participate in the class.
Are Live Online classes right for you?
Some students are reluctant to have their cameras on, this is totally fine but it could be that live online classes are not the best learning solution for you. Maybe you should try a distance learning class where you work individually and interaction is with the computer programme. If you want to join live online classes with other students, be prepared to have the camera on.
Body Language and facial expressions are important
In a traditional classroom environment, the teacher uses students’ facial expressions and body language to monitor the classroom dynamic and to focus attention on those who need more support – even if they have not said it aloud. This is even more important in online live learning sessions as the attention of students is drawn to the teacher and all the other participants because each one is given the same importance on their screen. There is no ‘back of the classroom’ for anyone to hide in; it has become quite intimate and everyone has a responsibility to participate; this is a huge benefit of online learning.
Be part of the classroom community
Another benefit of seeing each other is that you get to ‘meet’ your classmates and you feel part of the room, part of the community that will learn together. Your new virtual friends will get to know you even though you are thousands of miles apart. The online class can become as strong a community as a regular class if you all get to see each other.
It is much easier to distracted by other aspects of the technology we are using, such as messages on social media, or by the day to day things that happen in all home environments, which are not found in a traditional classroom environment, such as family, pets, phone calls etc.. if teachers can see you, they can see what is happening with you during the lesson and help you focus.
Live Online classes at EC
Teachers are used to setting up classroom expectations with new classes —a sort of student-teacher contract. Part of this new normal online learning means that ‘cameras on’ is expected and quickly it will show the advantages – participation is better, communication is clearer and no one can hide behind their icon.
Above all, EC Live Online lessons are about human interaction, just like face to face lessons not an automated computer one, and as such everyone needs to see your happy face! Why not try it?