Bryana Quick, Staff Writer

Many students have been quick to say the profile picture change has been a bad thing, but there are many good things that come from this new rule. 

Many students do not turn their camera on in class, and when a camera isn’t on, the profile picture is displayed in its place. Using an actual picture of a student can help teachers become more comfortable, allowing them to know who their students are and identify who they have in their class. There are students who can not have their cameras on due to living conditions or other personal reasons, and teachers want to be able to know who their students are even if they can not have them in class at the moment due to COVID-19 cases. Seeing those profile pictures for camera-off students can also help teachers memorize names and faces, making it more likely that they will recognize everyone when students finally come back into the classroom.

Along the same lines, many students, especially in high school, feel much more self conscious about having their camera on due to the fact they feel like they might be judged. Being able to pick what picture they use of themself could help them get more comfortable with the school and the people around them so that by the time school starts back up face to face, they will feel less insecure about things and be themselves more. The guideline days that it can be any school appropriate portrait; students are free to use a filter or otherwise choose the picture of them that they like. 

In high school, students want to voice their opinions much more, but sometimes that can lead to arguments or disagreements in class and can take away from other students’ learning. If a students profile picture were to be offensive or went against someone else’s beliefs, students could be very distracted and a classroom that was otherwise a safe space could fill with tension. There have been videos of classes having full blown arguments because one student’s profile picture was a “Trump Pence 2020” and another student’s was a “Biden Harris 2020” picture. Other students have chosen, innocently or not, racially-offensive memes or inappropriate TikTok trends for profile photos. These disruptions in the virtual classroom disrupt the flow of learning and are just not necessary. 

Students need to start thinking about the fact that when we go back in person, hiding behind a screen is not going to work. A countless number of students have disagreed with having to change their profile picture and think the new policy is unfair, but in reality, not only will it be fine, it might even make the virtual learning environment better.