The Pros and Cons of Using Video Cameras in the Classroom


Cameras in schools have their advantages if they’re used correctly.

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.

What You Need to Know About Nanny Cams (Part II)

But before you get and use a home security camera, here’s what you have to know and must do.

There are some places in your home where nanny cams can’t be installed like the bathroom.

State laws on home security cameras differ. Know the law in your state

It’s perfectly legal to put a home security camera in a residence in every state. though, the laws that dictate how and what you can record differ from state to state, and audio recordings and video recordings are usually treated differently under the law. Some states don’t need you to get consent from the nanny or notify him/her first, but some do mandate this.

Lawyers who specialize in nursing home abuse and neglect state that laws are also different if you plan to record at a nursing home or retirement community where there might be issues with Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and patient privacy laws.

If you’re unsure of laws about home security cameras in your state, it recommended that you meet with a criminal defense attorney.

Keep privacy in mind

The main part of privacy laws that affect home security cameras hinges on something referred to as the expectation to the right of privacy.

The places where folks do have an expectation of privacy in your home are in a bathroom or a place they may change clothes which could be a bedroom for a live-in caregiver. So, while it’s typically okay to set up cameras in a kitchen, living room, or exterior of your home, you’ll probably get in trouble for setting up a camera in a spot where the average person would have an expectation of privacy.

Have a talk with your caregiver

To set a clear expectation of where there isn’t and is privacy, it’s smart to tell a nanny up-front about the cameras. In fact, it might be legally required to disclose your cameras in some jurisdictions. Also, if you don’t tell them and only bring it up later when you’re pointing out something they did wrong, the nanny could be unpleasantly surprised.