We have seen an increase in the use of video cameras in classrooms, from administrators putting cameras throughout school buildings and premises to students bringing in and using recording devices such as their tablets, smartphones, or computers.
Based on what is being recorded, how it is being shared and protected, and the purpose of its use/viewing, cameras in the classroom can be considered a good thing or a threat to the learning environment. Below is some information on the advantages and cautions of using video cameras in the classroom.
To support proper student behaviors
Benefit: Let teachers and students review video to discuss proper behavior choices and classroom behaviors that need to change and improve.
Caution: Adults must not just rely on camera footage to view student behavior. Teachers must maintain positive student-teacher interactions and practice correct proximity and monitoring of students in classrooms and common areas such as the cafeteria, hallways, etc.
Benefit: Let professionals collect data, create operational definitions of behaviors pertaining to individual students and practice inter-rater dependability for functional behavior assessments (FBA) and behavior intervention plans (BIP).
Caution: Data collection by itself won’t change a student’s behavior. Teachers must continue to teach expectations and student coping strategies.
Benefit: Some schools are reporting a good effect on lessening the incidents of bullying in schools where cameras are put in hallways and other common areas. Districts are seeing a diminishing in the number of complaints coming in from students, parents, and teachers.
To better teacher practice
Benefit: Teachers can review videos of a lesson taught to assess for strengths of lessons and areas for enriching.
Caution: Some school administrators have used security cameras to check teachers’ time coming and leaving school. This could be seen as a violation of privacy.