We had this very conversation the other day.  Our teachers are wondering just how to get students to turn on their camera’s during their live virtual sessions. What does learning look like? Is it the energetic hand raising? The dazzling essay? The quiet, contemplative listening with a hoody pulled over the head? Does the learner who sits and listens learn as much as the learner who is engaging in the discussion? As a group of administrators, we grappled with the questions. Should a student be penalized for not putting on the camera or speaking? Can we force the learners to put on cameras? Is there something else we are missing? What can we do to engage learners?

After a few minutes of listening, I turn to wonder. I believe our live sessions are the differentiator. The ace in the hole. The best of what online learning can be. Building relationships. But what does it mean to learn? I think we all learn differently. What about the child who sits in the back of the class and never raises their hand? Who pulls their hoody up over their head? What about the kid who never takes a breath, has every answer? Wants all your attention all the time?

On the website https://wikidiff.com/attend/participate verbs the difference between attending and participating is that attend is (“to kindle”) or attend can be (archaic|transitive) to listen to (something or someone); to pay attention to; regard; heed while participate is to join in, to take part, to involve oneself ((in) something).

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