Crashed websites, power outages, Huntsville City Schools move forward amid technology issues

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) – Students at Huntsville city schools began their second week of virtual learning Monday.

a close up of a brick building: Huntsville City Schools virtual learning week two

© Provided by Huntsville-Decatur WAFF
Huntsville City Schools virtual learning week two

To start the school morning off, some teachers and students in Huntsville were unable to access the internet because of power outages across the city. In result of the power outages, the district’s WiFi also crashed.

The issues didn’t stop there, the social media network Zoom, which some teachers use to communicate with their students also crashed, in several states across the county for an unrelated issue.

Students, parents and staff of Morris Middle School shared their opinions about the first week of school, and now, the hiccups of the second week.

“At the schools where those were issues those principles communicated to their staff members that they could go home in order to engage in teaching and learning where they would have WiFi because the HCS network was down this morning. Of course when that does happen we make adjustments,” said Huntsville City Schools Chief Communications Officer, Craig Williams.

For teachers at Huntsville City Schools, the year has not gone according to plan with virtual learning and technology issues. Last week school districts’ learning management system, Schoology, also crashed nationwide. It’s been a difficult start of the year for a lot of people. Some are ready to throw in the towel and go back to traditional learning.

“I’m in eighth grade, I would like to go back to school because it’s easier to me. Virtual learning is kind of fun, but for the teachers to teach us it’s better,” said Vanessa Garcia Salazar.

Salazar’s father Antonio Garcia agrees. He’s ready for his children to be back inside of the normal classroom where technology isn’t needed as much.

“Computer is good, but maybe it’s better to go to the school with the teacher and maybe they’ll teach them more over there,” said Garcia.

The principal at Morris Middle School and others across the district said they understand some of the parents’ frustrations and concerns.

“It’s not a perfect situation, it’s not what we all want it to be, but it’s what we’re working with right now and we’re making the best of every situation,” said principal William King.

Employees at Huntsville City Schools said they are constantly evaluating their technology plans and making back up plans just in case issues pop up.

“Fortunately, we are in a position here at Huntsville city schools where we do have alternative platforms in place kind of like we saw last week when we had platforms like Schoology go down. Fortunately we do have those back ups,” said Williams.

King said despite challenges from the first week and again today, there is good news. All of the teachers have been able to make contact with their students and said the children are learning.

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