Miami-Dade School District (Florida) had software flaws and cyberattacks in the first week of online classes.
When millions of children in the United States start the school year with online classes from home due to the coronavirus pandemic, they are encountering technical difficulties and other problems that have forced many overwhelmed parents to assume the roles of assistant teachers and technical support.
Online classes: Internet collapses in demand for broadband
A ransomware attack forced schools in Hartford, Connecticut, to postpone the start of virtual classes and in-person this week. The system in Seattle collapsed last week and the Zoom platform had a failure of more than two hours in August. An online learning program in Alabama and other sites recently collapsed. North Carolina’s program fell on the first day of school last month.
Erik Rasmussen, a resident of Falls Church, Virginia, who has three children taking classes online, said he regularly deals with computer problems and poor periods of concentration. The father, who is divorced, has his children half the time.
“I put my kids in front of the computer and then I’m going to do my job, but the kids are kids: they turn off the video and start playing,” she said.
New school year and problems are still continuing
Summer holidays gave school districts time to deal with problems that surfaced when the pandemic forced schools to change the teaching format in the spring. But the new school year has already been plagued by some problems.
The largest school district in Florida, Miami-Dade County, assured parents that it had consolidated different programs on an online platform that would be easier to navigate. But software failures and cyberattacks hampered the first week of classes in the semester that began on August 31.
A high school student was arrested and charged with causing a series of blackouts in the nets. School administrators think others might be doing the same thing.
Some school districts have chosen to combine online and face-to-face classes.
The school year began on August 13 in Shelby County, Alabama, where a quarter of students have been using virtual learning, while the rest have attended in-person instruction for two days and remote instruction for the other three.