Tips on how to deal with technology failing during virtual school year

Posted at 3:40 PM, Sep 07, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-08 09:33:58-04

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. -- Technology is helpful but can be a burden when it fails, rendering that laptop or internet connection useless when it does.

It is a feeling most students and their parents most likely do not want to experience as the school year goes virtual for the first time.

To avoid issues, school districts like Norfolk Public Schools told News 3 in a statement that its tech support will help students and families through its call center, online chat and remote assistance.

It added, "For the safety of our students, all mobile devices are managed, maintained, and supported remotely and centrally."

The Virginia Beach City Public Schools district said in another statement that its technology department will extend its customer service hours on the weekdays. There will not be service on the weekends.

“All of our folks have been working tirelessly, nonstop,” Dr. Aaron Spence, the VBCPS superintendent, said in a virtual question-and-answer meeting on Sept. 3 “Many of our folks without a vacation, some without sleep, some working seven days a week to make sure we're as ready as we can be."

"It's a tough challenge,” Suresh Murugan, the Chief Information Officer at Elizabeth City State University, said. “I can see the pain; I can see the frustration."

Related: Avoiding cybersecurity attacks during online learning

Murugan works with information systems and securities, as well as data infrastructure. He offered some advice to students and parents.

“Do a speed test of what is your capacity right now,” Murugan explained, referring to the internet speeds someone should be getting for the price they are paying. "Reduce the load on your internet connection. What I mean is if your family is watching video streams or online television, all of that consumes bandwidth."

Murugan also suggested testing the signal strength throughout your home. If your wireless connection does fail, he said an old-fashioned wired connection will help.

He said if options have been exhausted, contact your service provider for further help.

“This year, I see a drastic improvement in terms of how they're coordinating the online learning,” Murugan said, "both synchronous and asynchronous."

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