Classroom Zoom Cameras Seem Purposeless, Essentially Unused

Outdated technology confuses students, faculty


Harrison Oxford, Contributing Writer

Last year, Blake purchased cameras and installed them into every classroom ceiling at the Upper School. However, many teachers did not use them since they either didn’t know how to or their students complained about it being too difficult to see. 

According to Clear One, the company that created the cameras, the cost of each device was $1500-1600. Many students believed that this is overpriced compared to the actual quality of the camera. Ben Hykes ‘23 notes, “I think [the cameras] were an unnecessary and ill-advised use of the school budget.” Many students agreed with this comment. Audrey Anderson ‘23 elaborates, “I didn’t have any teachers who used the cameras and they were a complete waste of money.” Daria Haner ‘22, who was a fully online student last year, said, “[The cameras] impacted my learning for the worse because teachers assumed that I could see things that I just couldn’t.” 

Although many people would argue that these cameras were a waste of money and a poorly thought out idea, some believed that the initial purchase of these cameras was a well thought out plan but fell short of high expectations. History teacher Ben Cady believes, “In hindsight, you could look back and think ‘Okay most teachers didn’t use those and they were kind of a waste’ but when you’re planning it sounds like it would be a really good idea.” The majority of students are uncertain of future plans regarding the cameras and whether or not they will still be needed in the classroom. Andrew Richardson ‘23 remarks, “I’m not sure if we will keep using these cameras since there are very few people online now.” For many classes this year, the cameras have been put to use only on rare occasions if at all. According to David Carlson ‘23, “Only one of my teachers has used their camera since hybrid and it was for one student who was home from school for the week.” 

Ultimately, despite good intentions, these cameras proved to be an inefficient use of time and money, leaving students and faculty questioning both the necessity and current use of this technology.