Ah, the start of a new school year. But the school year is starting off a little differently this time around, to say the least. And we were rudely reminded of the unprecedented times this morning when both Zoom and Canvas crashed on the first day of classes for many schools. If this isn’t telling of the year we’ve had, I don’t know what is.
Today @zoom_us had a service disruption that affected many of our customers. We know the responsibility we have to keep your meetings, classrooms & important events running. I’m personally very sorry & we will all do our best to prevent this from happening in the future.
— Eric S. Yuan (@ericsyuan) August 24, 2020
Around nine this morning, Zoom reported that they were having “partial outages” with their Meetings platform.
If you haven’t heard of Zoom by now, I am not sure where you have been because the platform has basically been carrying what seems like the whole world on its back as we navigate life during COVID-19. But for those that don’t know, Zoom is a telecommunications platform that has allowed people to continue meeting virtually with their video calls and online chat services. Zoom is one of the primary ways schools have been continuing to educate students virtually during COVID-19.
Last spring when the call was made to move to online learning for health and safety measures, it was viewed as a tiresome joke. Memes went around that seniors were graduating from “Zoom University” rather than their respective school.
my college handing me my degree after graduating zoom university pic.twitter.com/gonTJuIXKS
— hôē lèé shįt (@spicybinch) August 10, 2020
What college I attend you ask? Oh I go to Zoom University pic.twitter.com/YmKf8cIWHE
— Dominic Bautista (@potatogamr) August 24, 2020
Fast forward to today, where many schools, both lower and higher education, had their first day of classes. Many of these schools have opted to go online, at least for the first semester, like in the case of economics tuition online, to try to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus.
Issues With Zoom and The “Re-Opening Schools” Debate
Deciding whether or not to have school continued to be taught virtually has been a very contentious issue, to say the least. Many parents want their children to go back to school. Some believe it’s safe for them to go back, others are tired of balancing working from home and watching them.
I am very happy to send my kids back to school.
Not because I want them out of my hair – they’re excellent help around the farm and it’ll be tough to lose them.
But this is what’s best for them. For their mental health & social skill development. It’s time. And I believe safe.
— Adrienne Ivey (@adrienneivey) August 22, 2020
I know you know the child-at-home/WFH struggle. What a day it wasn't!
— Katherine McCoy Rivera (@heyfern) August 24, 2020
WFH is going to be a real struggle in the fall with our full time jobs and kids remote school. I will probably need to carve out 2 hrs a day for school stuff and just work extra at night. I’m dreading it
— mmonast (@mmonast) August 5, 2020
Other parents are pushing for schools to re-open fully out of concern for the quality of education their children are receiving.
I’ll take it further- a quality education. Virtual learning does not meet the criteria.
— Vanessa Lal (@vlal) August 22, 2020
College students, seemingly resilient to all this change and uncertainty, joke about the anxiety and weirdness that comes with the awkwardness of having classes on Zoom.
I WAS ON A ZOOM CALL FOR CLASS AND I THOUGHT I HAD MYSELF MUTED SO I WAS BLASTING HARRY'S BEST SONG OUT LOUD AND MY TEACHER MID-SENTENCE STOPPED TALKING AND SAID "SALMA, WE ALL LOVE FINE LINE BY HARRY STYLES BUT CAN YOU PLEASE TURN YOUR MUSIC OFF?” IM LITERALLY SO EMBARRASSED
— salmaᴴ (@goldnxcherry) August 24, 2020
not all 160 students saying thank you as they exit the zoom class. my brain just heard: pic.twitter.com/VAcd8dxOeQ
— g (@gimothee) August 24, 2020
And then of course there are the real superheroes, teachers. The ones who brave it all; students, parents and school administrators, online school and in-person school. They’re just out here trying to do their best to make everyone comfortable and educate our future generation.
How are teacher folks handling pre-class awkward Zoom time? I've typically just kept quiet because I don't want to annoy students. But with in-person classes I always have music playing and I usually chat with students before class. Thoughts? Experiences?
— Dr. Chris J😷nes, pandemic professor (@ProfChrisMJones) August 22, 2020
I had 37 fifth graders online for the Google Meet for every subject!!!!! Our first day of school was such a success!!! My kids did everything I told them to and were so engaged!!! I have an AMAZING class!!! I hope we return in person this year because they’re so great 💕 pic.twitter.com/JjT2pNN3bp
— Joshua Covert (@covert_in_fifth) August 24, 2020
So you can imagine the dismay this morning when students, already apprehensive going into the school year, logged on for their first day of virtual school only to realize their classes were interrupted due to technical malfunctions.
try to log into canvas to do zoom class, canvas is down; log into zoom via email link, zoom is down pic.twitter.com/R1PZXN1k2P
— Chris (@_chrisforrester) August 24, 2020
Go figure it’s my first class of the new semester, and my prof emails to say the school’s having a problem with Zoom ☹️
— a (@whiterosepoet) August 24, 2020
The malfunctions were fixed sometime around 1 p.m. Zoom did not comment on why the malfunction happened this morning. We can assume it had something to do with the fact that more people were using the platform today with the start of classes. Ever since people have been quarantining since around March, Zoom claims to have around 300 million meetings a day.
Everything should be working properly now! We are continuing to monitor the situation. Thank you all for your patience and our sincere apologies for disrupting your day.
— Zoom (@zoom_us) August 24, 2020
Issues with Canvas
Canvas, a course management system used by schools across the country, was also having issues this morning. Spokesman for Canvas Cory Edwards apologized for the challenges the lag in the system had caused students, teachers and parents today. Edwards reported that 75 percent of U.S. users experienced delays with the program for about a half-hour this morning, most likely due from students returning to school this week.
Staring at my computer waiting for canvas to work pic.twitter.com/8svlp8ZhjM
— Daphne (@strcrssd1) August 24, 2020
And like clockwork both Zoom and Canvas crash the first morning back to school. You really, really can’t make this stuff up. pic.twitter.com/u3SCCjIliZ
— Lauren Gruber (@GrubersOrch) August 24, 2020
At least we got some relatable content from all these technical difficulties.
Yes canvas crashed.
Yes zoom crashed.
Good nap to you all. pic.twitter.com/YA8jHsHSjQ
— Frederíck (@frhicks53) August 24, 2020
Seeing as this is only day one of online schooling for the year, there were bound to be a few glitches here and there. Everyone just needs to be patient as we settle into the reality of school year two of online learning. Let us know how you’re feeling about “back to school” this year? Are you attending “Zoom University” or will you be going back to in-person classes?