Wow. The past two weeks have taken the students and teachers of my district on a roller-coaster ride. We were given various excuses as to what had happened and what was currently happening…but nowhere were we given a time-table as to when the technology issues would be fixed. All we know is that our server was hacked and then to protect all data, we were effectively cut off from the outside world (Internet) for three days. Then followed seven more days of intermittent Internet access. It was weird. Everything seemed to work well in the morning (as I planned my day) and throughout first period, but after that, it was anybody’s ball game. Sometimes the Internet worked for 2nd period and 5th/6th. But it rarely worked for 3rd or 4th period. Did I mention that I teach World History all day?
Needless to say, all of my classes were off pace both with the district pacing and each other. I couldn’t keep track of which class was where. I had to extend due dates, completely drop some assignments, and bring out Plans B, C, and D (on occasion). It was a mess.
And I wasn’t the only one affected. My district rolled out a huge amount of Technology PD during Super Week, so there were quite a few teachers who were directly affected by this Internet blackout. Teachers who were new to using technology, some of whom were already a bit skittish about using technology…were among the ones who were likely freaking out. My colleagues who are a 1:1 iPad/Chromebook class (who are tech-savvy) were just as freaked out and frustrated.
But there was a light.
Last Friday as I was putting the final touches on an Internet-based assignment, the Internet shut down. I mean, completely. I couldn’t even access our internal attendance and email. I watched the clock slowly tick towards the start of the school day and grew more frustrated by the second. I mean, COME ON! I’m never going to finish this unit. We’re going to be on Arabia for-EVER. One of my colleagues poked her head in my classroom with a frantic look on her face. I just shrugged my shoulders. We’ve been here before.
The bell rang. We finished the pledge of allegiance and morning announcements. I had one student get out her iPad and try to log in to our HaikuLMS class. I didn’t want to give up (yet). She got in. No, could it be? Was the Internet back up and running? I tried the site on my computer…lo and behold…it loaded. I held my breath as I told my students to get their iPads. I was hoping that we wouldn’t lose Internet-connectivity.
We didn’t. The Internet worked all day. For all classes. Even 3rd and 4th period. They couldn’t believe it. After two weeks of frustrated efforts to log in…postponed due dates…eliminated activities, they were on. And my students took off! They didn’t waste any time…mostly because they didn’t know if the Internet was going to suddenly stop working. It was a sight to behold. For me, it was a huge relief. Things were finally getting back on track. We are still WAY behind on the pacing, but at least we’re moving forward.
Things are certainly looking up. =)