San Jose schools deal with tech difficulties on first day back

ByLauren Martinez KGO logo
Thursday, August 13, 2020
SJ schools deal with tech issues on first day back
The San Jose Unified School District dealt with technical difficulties on the first day back to school.

SAN JOSE, Calif. (KGO) -- It's the first day back for thousands of San Jose Unified School District students and staff, but not everything is going smoothly on the technical side.

Mike Flynn, owner of a tutoring company called Engenius Learning and parent of an SJUSD high school junior, said his son was able to log into his class OK.

"For my son, it was pretty easy today. He was able to get up and get right on to his portal to the students and then log onto the class and there were other students there but there weren't that many students. So we know a number of other ones had difficulty," Flynn said.

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Even though Flynn said his son was able to log onto that class smoothly, he still has to see how others go. He wished today was more of a trial-run.

"This was a different roll out and I really think if the school had just postponed, or just called this more of a test day, not the first day of school. That would've eased a lot of people's minds," Flynn said.

On a Facebook group page called "Teach Our Kids SJUSD" parent after a parent expressed frustration over technical difficulties, they experienced trying to get their student logged in. In a letter sent this morning, the district asked families not to contact the school site with technical or connection issues.

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"I believe that a lot of frustration you're seeing from parents that weren't able to get online- or even were able to get online- there was an email that came this morning about don't call tech support. So many things are very challenging in the tech world but the frustration comes from the district going all the way back into mid-March and April the way they handled a number of things and that the frustration is just boiling over now," Flynn said.

As a parent, he wishes there was more thought into how this may not work.

"We're going to try and help my son recognize this is happening to everyone, it's not just something happening to him," Flynn.

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Flynn has 33 years in tutoring and teaching experience and brought his lesson online for the last five months. His suggestion to teachers- instead of thinking of how you're going to entertain and teach a class at once, think of it as if you're teaching to one person and there just might be another 20/30 kids listening in.

"The teacher has to adjust. Instead of entertaining a class, they now have to teach to just one student. And I think the teachers will be far more successful when they do that," Flynn said.

SJUSD sent out a letter to parents this morning:

"Our teachers have worked extremely hard to be ready to welcome your students this morning. We understand that some students will likely have issues connecting to their classes today. Please have your students use Chrome as the web browser. We have identified several known issues with browsers other than Chrome when accessing Canvas and Webex. Please do not contact your school site with technical or connection issues. Teachers will be taking attendance in the morning, and we will use the absence reports to identify and reach out to missing students to provide technical support. If your student is having trouble connecting, they will not be marked absent. We understand the anxiety and stress caused for students and families when things do not go as planned. We have dedicated as many resources as possible to resolving technical issues. We appreciate your patience as we work through the issues. Teachers have been busy moving their class information onto the live Canvas site and have the classes as complete as possible. Your teacher will be working with students to ensure they understand how to connect and use the platform. Thank you again for your patience and support as we navigate these challenges over the next several days."


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