Teachers across North Texas were unable to get online early Thursday morning. An internet outage on a server shared by multiple school districts slowed or shutdown virtual learning to thousands of students.
While IT folks rushed to try to get them back up and running teachers got creative to keep teaching.
Lauren Marsh teaches fourth grade at Rainwater Elementary in Carrollton. Like teachers all across North Texas, she walked into her classroom Thursday morning to begin teaching virtually only to find out the school building’s internet was on the fritz.
"As my students started logging on to my meeting they could hear me but the couldn’t see me and I just kept cutting out," said Marsh.
You know how some buildings hate your cellphone and don’t give a good signal? That’s what was happening in Lauren’s classroom.
So she couldn’t use her phone to get online. Ms. Marsh ran out of the building to her car and read a story to her students from behind the wheel.
"All of a sudden my face shows up on the screen in the sunshine and my kids are like 'where are you going?'" she said. "I had a book I really wanted to read to them and that was the lesson for the day and I was determined to read that book."
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The internet outage happened in districts in the Region 10 group in North Texas, everyone from Frisco to Farmer’s Branch. In Midlothian ISD, local IT guys jumped into action setting up a new server to bypass the broken one from Region 10. Their work got teachers and students back online in minutes.
Several districts told us they knew one day something like this would happen, the internet would fail.
Most had backup plans in place, it just took a little while to get them up and running.
It highlights how reliant we are on the internet right now but even when that hard-line failed, teachers like Lauren Marsh said they would make sure their students wouldn’t.