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Are There Cameras in College Classrooms?

Wondering are there cameras in college classrooms? Whether there are cameras in classrooms or not depends on the school you’ll be attending.

cameras in classrooms

Most campuses place cameras, though. It would let students go back and watch lectures, as well as help with security. Let’s talk about this.

Are Cameras in Classrooms Legal?

Schools are allowed to install cameras, as the devices would be on private property. You may be wondering whether you’ll be able to whip out your phone and record lectures too. If you’re attending a public school, you’ll have no issue. The law states that you can record in a public space.

Depending on where you live, there may be laws surrounding whether colleges can record students or not. Some states or provinces in your country may have laxer laws, while the one you’re in could be very strict.

There are many benefits to classes being recorded. That’s why If there isn’t a camera in your class and the professor wants one, he wouldn’t have to buy it himself. The university would get it for him without an issue.

We have to talk about how the recordings would be stored. In the US, the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act protects student records. Any footage that is captured would fall into this category. Thus, you have the right to inspect the footage. Also, if the university wants to release it, they would need several forms signed.

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What Are the Benefits of Cameras in a Classroom?

There are many benefits to having one in place. Let’s talk about this.

Record Lessons

The biggest benefit is that lectures could be recorded. College classes are hard. You’re expected to come in having researched what’s going to be discussed. Likely, some students didn’t understand the lesson, so being able to go back and watch it would be great.

Even if they understood it, they might not have written down everything the lecturer said. The recordings would let them go back and modify their notes.

Better Teaching

The undergrads aren’t the only ones that can make use of the recordings. Lecturers can utilize them as well. They would benefit from watching themselves teach, as they could make note of anything they could improve on.

Professors would be able to improve their teaching the most if the college’s higher-ups go through the footage of them teaching. They could get valuable feedback.

Limit Misconduct

There may be hundreds of undergrads in a college class. At least one of them could be mischievous. The recordings would have proof of any misconduct that took place. This would make students accountable.

Regularly reviewing the footage may also help avoid an unfortunate situation. You would be able to note any strange behaviors students may be exhibiting. These could be signs that they’re going to do something dangerous soon.

Also, if students know they are being watched, they would likely not misbehave. They’ll know that they would easily get caught.

Hold Teachers Accountable

Just like students wouldn’t misbehave as they are being watched, professors would be on their best behavior too.

Some classes may be one on one. A student could allege that their professor sexually assaulted them. If there is no footage, you wouldn’t be able to tell if this took place or not. The false accusations could ruin the lecturer’s life and career. That’s why the recordings are so beneficial.

Feel Safe

The undergrads and staff may feel safer with the cameras around. They would know that there are eyes all over campus, so any trouble that could arise would be stopped.

What are the Disadvantages of Cameras in Classrooms?

You don’t have to think hard to realize there are many disadvantages of having them in classrooms. It’s up to you to decide whether the pros outweigh the cons or not.

Lack of Privacy

The biggest problem people have with the devices is that they’re violations of privacy. Although students might enjoy the safety that they offer, they would also have to watch their every move. Knowing that you’re being watched when you’re trying to focus on class may not be what you want.

Stagnant Growth

If the college is spending a lot trying to improve its security, it’s going to neglect other aspects. This would be a shame, as even a small sum spent on study resources would help students perform better.

Create Mistrust

Students might feel mistrust, as they may feel like the lectures are being recorded, as the school doesn’t trust them. The professors might feel this way as well.

Increases Bad Behavior

If there are mischievous students in a class, they would want to vandalize the expensive cameras in the classrooms.


The recordings need to be high quality. Otherwise, you won’t be able to hear or see what the lecturer has said. High-quality cameras can be very expensive.

Not only would you have to spend on purchasing the devices, but you also have to spend on maintaining them. If all their footage would be stored on a server, this would be an added expense as well.

Are They Worth It?

Yes, the school would be able to watch what is going on, which could help with accountability. However, the cameras can’t undo any misconduct that was recorded. Also, students might find a way to bypass the lens’ field of view.

How Can Colleges Help Students Study Better?

Although students would be able to study better if lectures were recorded, there are other things a university can do too.

Counseling Sessions

A qualified counselor that would help undergrads handle the stress of classes would help them perform better.

Excellent Professors

College is not only stressful, but it’s expensive too. For the amount students are paying, they should get excellent lecturers. Universities should regularly watch professors teach to see if there is anything they could improve on.

Improved Facilities

Students would be able to study and do their assignments at their best with more books in the library, access to faster internet, and a range of practical labs.

Smaller Classes

In a lecture, there could be up to 100 people. A university could hire more professors to teach a class so that individual classes won’t be that big. This would let you get more individual attention.

Be Helpful

The undergrads would be able to study well if they know the other parts of their life are going well. Schools should assist students with tuition. Other than passing their tests, paying tuition is something they’re all worried about.

Provide excellent support for housing as well. Invest in good dorm facilities and housing staff to sort any issues in the dorms.

Universities are private establishments. They are allowed to have cameras. If the school you’d be attending is a public one, you wouldn’t have problems recording classes either, as you would be in a public space.

How the recordings of classes are stored is serious. Laws states that colleges should store them in the most secure way possible, as they would technically be student records. Why would a college record lectures? For one, students would be able to go back and view them whenever they want. The university could also see how good of a job the lecturers are doing. Other reasons would be:

  • To keep an eye on everything
  • Limit misconduct
  • Make staff and students feel safe