Please refer to the video on our Course Components webpage which illustrates how our classrooms and webinars are run.
In addition to our course slides to provide visual references, we use audio and text-chat for communication during our course webinars. The absence of webcams helps to keep the focus on the content of the lesson.
Legally, we are required to keep webcams off so we can provide services to students working with charter schools insisting on having webcam-free webinars. Charter schools set this criterion as an important legal precaution protecting instructors and students. We also accept this criterion because we are very cognizant about student privacy and protecting our students.
In addition, active webcams create more lag for students who are on slow connections and can also be distracting for some students–too many visual inputs can make it challenging to focus on the content. Additionally, by not having a webcams feed, students (and teachers) are free to wiggle around, be any age, wear whatever they feel comfortable in, and be in various locations that may distract others.
If the family desires, webcams may be used during one-on-one tutoring webinars. Students are also invited to record webcam responses in the classrooms and forums if desired.