First the song: There will be a morning after.
As expected, the unprecedented load on the servers of the nation’s 20th largest school district caused things not to work so well. What was unexpected was where the data logjam occurred.
Running live meetings went well for the most part. Students were able to join the meetings and watch teachers deliver lessons. Some students complained they couldn’t see the video, but since it wasn’t all, they probably had a key setting disabled. Grumpy Old Teacher (GOT) used a whiteboard feature in his first class, but subsequently learned that the whiteboard portion was not recorded. “We’re fixing that bug.”
Assignment files was the big block. Teachers are able to add files to their Teams assignment. Students open a copy and actually fill in responses that are saved by the system for later review and grading by the teacher. Except, it didn’t work. Students couldn’t access files and teachers were scrambling for a work around. “We’re fixing that bug.”
GOT found a workaround. He made his assignment files shareable so students could download a read-only copy, do a save-as so they could edit their own version, and upload via the grade portal we use (FOCUS) or even an old-fashioned email attachment to his work email account.
Except when he sent the links to the students school email accounts, Microsoft’s bots decided GOT was a spam account. At this writing, his work email is suspended. GOT sought advice and has submitted a request for service to his district’s IT department. He hopes that they are “fixing that bug.”
In the last period of the day, during the video lesson, GOT’s mike was muted continually. He told the students to cut it out, but later found out that anytime a student unmuted their mike, it automatically muted his. In a post-school day discussion, another teacher made suggestions for adjusting the video settings, which is possible if the meeting is scheduled. GOT will try to see if it will “fix that bug.”
The problem with scheduled meetings is that the students can start early and hold a pre-meeting. Don’t get GOT started about pre-meetings. He had enough of that in his preacher days.
Maybe IT can “fix that bug.”
Not bad for a first day. But as we move forward, GOT hopes that the distance learning will not become: