Participation Continues to Drop in Classes


Caelan Jones

Typical of a lot of classes is the google meet with no cameras on for students.

Ever since the first day of school, September 7th, participation in classes has drastically decreased. When we started virtual school this year, the majority of students had cameras on and used microphones or the chat feature. Nowadays, it’s rare if classes even have one student with a camera on. 

Though administration and teachers encourage students to participate in class, Dr. Brewer said, “[As an Administration,]  we have come to peace with the lack of participation and that’s not a battle we want to pick and fight. We understand that some students are too self conscious to turn their cameras on or work with classmates in the virtual setting. Also, there is a large possibility that there are some of our students who really don’t want to reveal the circumstances in their learning environment and home to the rest of the world. And we want to respect that.”

As a student who’s only experience of high school has been behind a screen, freshman Sophie Phillips said, “I usually have my camera off in class and I use the chat feature. I could be more involved, but I am not because I can’t really connect or bond with anyone like I normally do. It gets frustrating.” 

Now teachers use different programs such as Pear Deck, Desmos, Jam Boards, and NoRedInk, where they can actively track students’ progress in the lesson. 

Business teacher Kaitlyn Bowers said, “One of the most challenging aspects of distance learning is definitely not being able to see my students. Since so many students chose not to turn their cameras on it makes it challenging to know if my students are understanding the content.”

Students who are often seen not participating in class are usually distracted doing other things. Junior Spencer Sherry said, “I do participate, but when I don’t it’s because class is boring and my phone is right there. I just go on YouTube and Tiktok. ” 

For students who are struggling in classes and know they aren’t paying attention in the virtual environment, the Administration strongly recommends switching to hybrid learning. “For students who long for in person interaction, my recommendation would be to, you know, come into the building. [Students] can reach out to their counselor and to me and say, ‘You know I think I made a mistake, I really probably should be in the building.’ That’d be my advice to our students, and I definitely would encourage students to do so soon,” Dr. Brewer said.