Computer glitches disrupt classes as schools return online
September 10, 2020
HOUSTON (AP) — Students across the U.S. ran into computer glitches Tuesday as they began the school year with online instruction at home because of the coronavirus, adding to the list of problems that have thrust many a harried parent into the role of teacher’s aide and tech support person.
The online learning platform Blackboard, which provides technology for 70 of the nation’s 100 biggest districts and serves more than 20 million U.S. students from kindergarten through 12th grade, reported that websites for one of its learning products were failing to load or were loading slowly, and users were unable to register on the first day of school.
Blackboard, which hit four times its year-to-date user average by 8 a.m., wasn’t the only tech company running into issues Tuesday. Websites that track internet outages like downdetector.com also recorded spikes in reported problems for services like Microsoft Teams and Google Drive, many spiking around 9 a.m. Three of Texas’ largest districts — Houston, Dallas and Fort Worth — were hit with technical problems, as were school systems in places such as Idaho and Kansas. A ransomware attack forced schools in Hartford, Connecticut, to postpone Tuesday’s start of virtual and in-person classes.