COVID-19, NEWS — March 30, 2020 at 11:22 pm

BCPS systems crash on first day of distance learning

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During the BCPS Canvas crash, this page was all that students and teacher could see when trying to access the application. Photo by of Melissa Falkowski
During the BCPS Canvas crash, this page was all that students and teacher could see when trying to access the application. Photo by Melissa Falkowski

On Monday, March 30, Broward County Public Schools began their new online school approach known as “distance learning,” which consists of video calls on zoom and assignments published on Canvas, a digital learning platform often used by teachers and students throughout the year. However, this transition did not happen as smoothly as the district had been hoping. The BCPS Information and Technology department sent an email out to all the teachers in the district addressing the issues.

“BCPS is experiencing internet slowness due to a sudden spike in users logging into Canvas and Clever,” the email said. “We are actively working on the solution and will send another notice as soon as the problem is resolved.”

Around 9 a.m. many students found that Canvas was running poorly on their devices. At first, the site was simply reacting slower than usual. Students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School began turning to social media to see if their fellow eagles were having similar problems. 

“I was on my Canvas dashboard and everything was going super slow,” freshman Lily Tomek said. “Usually it works really fast, so obviously something was up.”

Students then began experiencing an issue with loading the site. Web browsers such as Google Chrome and Safari were announcing that the application could not be reached. Social media platforms like Snapchat began flooding with students asking their peers what was happening.

“I hadn’t even logged on to Canvas yet when I started seeing people posting all over their [Snapchat] stories about it,” sophomore Sidney Jenner said. “Then I went to see for myself, and sure enough I couldn’t get to the page.”

It was soon apparent that BCPS was having some technical issues regarding their district systems, however, teachers, parents and students were left to their own devices until the issue could be resolved. Some students were reportedly able to access Canvas through the mobile application on their phones.

“This crash was to be expected, especially with such a large amount of students logging on all at the same time,” English teacher Chelsea Briggs said.

By 10 a.m., Canvas was back online and functioning relatively as it should be. Students were then able to access their online classes and contact teachers as normal. Throughout the remainder of the day, Canvas was continuing to run much slower than usual.

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Ava Steil is a senior at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. She enjoys reading, writing, and studying with her friends at local coffee shops.

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