Virtual Education

So, I have been taking a class for several weeks now (I don’t even remember how many) that was supposed to be a one off, but has since snowballed into what I think is quickly becoming a full business program.

This is not important to the story, but my boss wanted me to take it. Since work is paying for part of it, I obliged. It wouldn’t have been my first choice to take, but I won’t say no to education!

So, the first professor was/is great. He understands my work schedule, he understands the stresses of being in school in general, without the full-time job tied to it. He’s just… chill. He’s my kind of a professor.

The second professor, she’s cynical as all hell. She’s giving me major flashbacks to those entry level courses everyone was required to take in first year of university. (Yes, I know that sentence alone showcases a lot of privilege) She’s questioning everyone. She doesn’t care about stressses of being a student. She doesn’t care about people who are also working. She doesn’t seem to care about anything beyond her rules.

The second professor, she has a rule that we’re required to have our webcams on the entire class. The problem is, she records these sessions. She’s recording them and she’s not giving them out to people to look back on. So she’s recording them and keeping them… for something? Who knows. Who cares what she keeps it for.

I DO NOT like being recorded.

It’s a thing for me. I worked in PR too long, I know the nefarious things that have happened with recordings. I have, myself, been responsible for burying recordings of people. I have, myself, been responsible for turning over recordings of someone for a criminal investigation. I don’t like recordings of me existing. I’ve seen too much of how the sausage is made, and I just… am not for it.

What if I wanted to become a spy? I basically would need to wipe my existence. I can do that if some professor has all these recordings of me.

What if I wanted to become a criminal? I don’t need her turning over videos of me that people could use to study my behaviour.

What if I just really don’t like being recorded? Why can’t she just… tell me I can turn my webcam off?

It really doesn’t matter why. If I don’t want to listen to her lectures with my webcam on, I really shouldn’t have to. It’s not like I’m taking an exam. I’d understand if they waned to see me to ensure I wasn’t cheating. It’s a lecture/discussion class. My mic and webcam don’t need to work in sync. I can use my mic without the webcam.

If I do end up taking all of these courses, I’ll probably run into this more and more. I know I need to chill and just go along with her rules. I just… think her rules are stupid. You should not be required to be recorded in order to complete a course.

26 thoughts on “Virtual Education

  1. I dont think it has to be a rule to record, get inventive, take a really blurry photo of yourself and stick it onto the camera?

    Email her and tell her you are in the witness protective progamme?

    Get an invisibility cloak? Yes you are right, means you are still not on the chat, bad idea 😉

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I contemplated coming up with some elaborate story as to why I don’t want to be recorded, but then I just decided to be honest and say that I don’t want to be recorded and I don’t need to provide a reason. I may wind up wearing a mask of some sort.

      Side note – I WOULD LOVEEEEEEEEE to have a cloak of invisibility.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I go to a networking group on Fridays, and they say you should turn your camera off if you get up. Most of the time now, I have the microphone and camera off if I’m not speaking, in part because the lighting where I go is terrible, so I look awful on camera (I’m mostly listening, so I don’t worry about it) and also because I want to lean back in my chair or forward onto the desk without it showing up on camera.
    The meetings manage to go just fine.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That makes so much more sense. Honestly, everyone should have their microphone off as a standard. But when it comes to cameras, people should be able to choose. Also, I highly doubt you look awful on camera.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. They’re only required to notify you that they’re recording. Because the course was ‘optional’, I apparently signed up for being recorded when I signed up for the course.

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  3. I can’t understand why they have to make this so complicated. What you said makes total sense and I’d be questioning it too. You KNOW there is so much potential for abuse in that. Maybe a professor wants wanking material? 🤢🤢🤢

    How would a friend react if you suggested recording a video call? And that’s a FRIEND.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. She strikes me as the type of person who wants to see people on camera because she wants to ensure we’re not signing into the class and then walking away, letting it run. Which… if we’re paying for the fucking course, it’s our choice to walk away? I’m not walking away, I just don’t desire being recorded.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Ok this bugs me. I feel like someone is taking advantage. So…
    1. who set up the class? Did they sign giving permission for taping?
    While taping or recording is not necessary illegal except where there is an expectation of privacy.
    This almost sounds like a set up by the employer.
    2. You are taped and recorded everytime you walk down the street, step into a store, or drive through the take out window. There is no expectation of privacy when you’re out and about doing your everyday life.
    3. Find out (ask your boss) if taping the sessions is a requirement of the course and who gave permission. It would be interesting to know. Are you being recorded to be studied at the other side or for facial recognition….?? To take a class on line you should have the option to have the camera on or off so long as you can prove that you haven’t vacated.
    4. Will there be a questionnaire at the end? make sure you voice your concern
    5. It all seems legit and no big deal but if it makes even one person uncomfortable then answers should be provided.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I’d ask her for the training institutes statement relating to MFIPPA and their guidelines and confirmation statement relating “enforce retention periods for accounts and different categories of personal data. Only use the data that is collected for as long as needed. In particular, logs of interactions between students, parents and educators should be routinely purged.”

    Until she’s able to provide this in detail and a copy of how she will be using the data, what it will be used for, retention period and method of disposal, you’re pretty much free to deny her request.

    I’d also suggest going over the course notes to see whether it stated that students had to be present in front of a camera at all times.

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  6. Maybe my cam developed unresolvable technical problems. Don’t know what the issue is, but our Managed Service Provider in Shanghai is on the case . . . or would be if it wasn’t for a bout of Delta going around their office . . . Hopefully will get it resolved before the course ends . . .

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  7. In March 2020 the IRL French language lectures were started online and I was exhausted by the classes.. It was like for work..screen..for entertainment… Screen… For this… Screen! She didn’t kept the camera on.. But… That also made the class less interactive..
    I don’t go on any virtual classes anymore… I have just postponed it all now…

    But I have seen that if any seminar people or class people are recording… They mention the same… Before we sign up for class..
    Did they? Maybe ask once..

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