Dewey goes out of his way in this chapter to explain why freedom needs rules and that it is rules that allow for freedom. Basically, if we have rules that govern what we do we are governed by something that is within our collective control. But, if we have no rules we are left to be governed by external forces beyond our control.
If silence is one of those rules we decide to enforce in the learning environment we restrict our ability to know enough about our students to responsively help them. I wish the administrators at my first two schools understood this.
I believe this illustrates one of the greatest strengths of online schools. In online schools attendance is still obligatory but can only be measured with student engagement. If you are unengaged you are absent. In the brick and mortar classroom a whole class could be there in body but absent in mind.