For some students, the first day of school got off to a slow start as internet service provider CenturyLink crashed for the second day in a row, causing minutes-long delays when students attempted to log into myMCPS Classroom.
MCPS Department of Communications employee Gboyinde Onijala says the platform experienced a slowdown for an hour and a half. As myMCPS Classroom runs with the support of CenturyLink, the platform could not operate at its usual speed or keep up with the demand of more than 160,000 students simultaneously logging in to access class landing pages and Zoom links when CenturyLink went down.
This begs the question of whether directing students and teachers to use myMCPS Classroom in place of the familiar Google Classroom was a prudent choice, but Ms. Onijala adds that the slowdown had nothing to do with the myMCPS platform itself.
As if the stress of transitioning to all-virtual learning for the first semester was not enough, students reported feeling confused and panicked when they could not log into myMCPS Classroom or enter their Zooms.
Senior Natalya Jimenez says, “Zoom classes the first day were incredibly anxiety-inducing. Because of Zoom links not working and recurring internet issues, I was afraid of missing any important information for the rest of the year.”
Others were expecting technical difficulties and accepted there was little they could do to access their classes if they had not received or kept teachers’ emailed Canvas messages with the periods’ Zoom information.
Even if an influx of students logging onto the platform was not to blame for the slowdown, senior Josh Mims assumed there would be an initial lag in responsiveness. “It’s beyond MCPS’ control, so we can’t really be upset or disappointed,” he says.
Ms. Onijala assures that the technical difficulties have been resolved, and that MCPS is working with its internet service providers to ensure faculty and families have smooth virtual learning experiences. “We will continue to monitor the situation and respond to any issues as quickly as possible,” she says.