ZOOM outage blocks NHCS students from virtual learning


NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — New Hanover County students were unable to access online learning Monday morning due to technical difficulties.

According to the school district, ZOOM is experiencing technical issues globally.

The ZOOM platform is used for classes and live meetings. The district asked for parents to contact their child’s teacher in regards to an alternative instructional plan.

Trask teachers and staff, they did a good of in having a backup plan available immediately,” Dan Perlberger, who has a daughter at Trask middle School, said. “She said as soon as she logged into Google Classroom, they had the link to Google Meet on there, and they were up and running.”

Assistant Superintendent for Technology and Digital Learning Dawn Brinson says teachers have the choice of using Zoom or Google Meet in order to have a back-up plan.

“Zoom is just the conferencing tool, but the Learning Management System of Seesaw, Google Classroom and Canvas is how we deliver the instruction,” Brinson said. “So teachers were still able to, using those three platforms, actually create smaller videos and share them with their students.”

Brinson says students weren’t able to do the live social and emotional learning meetings in the morning though.

The district posted about the issue on its Facebook page, and Brinson says a district-wide email was sent out to parents. Some parents say they also got a message from their child’s individual teacher.

Perlberger says the change in plans was pretty seamless for his daughter.

“For us it was great,” he said. “Like I said, the teachers posted the link to the Google Classroom for the Google Meet alternative session, so it was perfect.”

Not every parent had as smooth of a transition, according to the district’s Facebook page.

Brinson says this was a learning experience, and she encourages teachers to get comfortable using both Zoom and Google Meet so they and the students can switch to Plan B if and when this happens again.

“This is different, and a change for everybody,” she said. “Being flexible is something we have to be, and I understand that when you’re asking a kindergartener to be flexible versus asking a high school student, it’s completely different.”

Perlberger says he thinks it’s more beneficial for the teachers to reach out to the families about these issues, than to have each family contact the school individually.

The district says Zoom was back up and running around 12:30 p.m., and they sent out an updated email to parents. Brinson says no students will be marked absent Monday for any issues related to Zoom.

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