The mechanics of body cameras would be relatively simple. The teachers wear the camera and also a forward-facing screen so that the kids know they’re being filmed. Presumably, the parents would have to give their consent in advance as there are ethical if not legal implications behind filming other people’s kids. Only if the teacher presses a specific button is the video retained.
Teachers will be given the opportunity to film when necessary. This recording will be shown to students to view so they can see their behavior and act in a rational way. Pupils will see the recording on an outward facing screen. This would be useful in providing evidence for disciplinary action but could be a useful self-reflection tool for students. It may tackle low-level background noise and minimize disruptions in lessons making schools more effective.
For example, Police now wear body cameras so that they are held accountable for their actions on duty, this is because they have power and interact with the public regularly and are often caught up in scenarios. Similarly, teachers could use it for surveillance in the classroom. While police body cams have been widely demanded as a check against officer misconduct, it seems
these cams are aimed at keeping the kids in line. The police-style body camera can be turned on as often as the teacher requires.
Additionally, it could be argued that body cameras in classrooms would not adequately address the social issues that often fuel disruptive behavior by children in schools.
Mark Oldman, a head teacher for a school for boys whose students comprise mostly of pupils who have enrolled due to disruptive behavior in other schools, believes that increases in low-level classroom disruption is not due to “an increase in nasty, naughty children”. Instead, he argues that such behavior is a symptom of complex social backgrounds” and “schools doing their absolute best with a lack of resources, a lack of expertise and pressure to meet baseline targets”. A Department for Education spokeswoman in the UK where the cameras have been trialed said the trial was “a matter for the school”. She added: “The schools are acting within the law as far as we know but we haven’t investigated this matter.”
Ethics and privacy remain a key issue,
columnist and broadcaster Jenni Russell said: The Times If the relationship between pupils and teachers is so antagonistic that the point is to collect proof of just how bad it has become, then the struggle to motivate and educate that child has already been lost. The children who behave this way won’t be shamed by the evidence – it may even become a trophy.
Where is the line between managing and policing? The truth is the socio-economic factors contributing to this behavior in children are not addressed. The roots of the problem need to be addressed in order for effective teaching to take place. This, of course, begins with the limited use of distracting technology within the classroom, as well as the implementation of teachers that are capable of controlling large classrooms.
Perhaps body cameras are not the answer, but rather, a much-needed shift in learning ideology encompassed by today’s youth. You will never see a University Professor that cannot control their auditorium. Why? Because these students are paying for this information, and they are taking responsibility for their learning.
However, elementary and high school students are, for the most part, not forking over tuition payments, unless they attend a private school. This lack of financial incentive to perform may play a role in students lack of attention while in class, but in reality, the issue is much more complex than this.
Surveillance and heavy monitorization of students are hardly a fix for underperforming students. Those who do not care to perform well in school will not be deterred by a video camera. Rather, educators need to take more initiative in controlling their classrooms, and invigorating an interest in learning among their pupils; they are, without a doubt, the most important medium of the transaction of information within schools, and they should take pride and assume control of their classrooms if teaching is to be done properly.
The addition of body cameras may act as an emotional barrier of sorts between the teacher and students, which can truly hinder macro-educational development. Technology may have secured its place in today’s classrooms, but the notion of bodycameras may prove to be a step in the wrong direction.