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Zoom outage impacts classes in Coachella Valley

Virtual Clases

Video conferencing company Zoom experienced widespread outages on Monday morning, impacting thousands of people. The company tweeted at around 7:30 Monday morning, "If you're having trouble connecting to Zoom, we have identified the issue and are working on a fix."

Schools were one of the largest groups to be affected as many tried logging into their virtual classrooms.

Desert Sands Unified School District issued a statement Monday morning to students saying, “We have confirmed that Zoom is experiencing a wide-spread outage due to a recent system upgrade. Please login to Google classroom to access class information today.  Continue to attempt to login to zoom each period as it is unknown when the system will be back up.”

“We are switching to Google Meets due to Zoom outage,” said a statement issued by Palm Springs Unified School District spokeswoman Joan Boiko who added that all teachers are trained on the platform and are alerting students to switch.

"I got emails saying that everything is completely out," Desert Sands Unified School District parent, April Sanchez said.

Sanchez has 3 kids in the district. She said it took her youngest, who is in elementary school, about 45 minutes to log in.

"I thought, 'Are you not getting on the right link again?' He’s like, 'No mom,' so I went in there to make sure and sure enough it says teachers are not available," said Sanchez.

Desert Sands Unified School District released a statement:

DSUSD schools use Zoom during this time of distance learning but have a number of other resources that are also used by our teachers. Both teachers and students were notified that Zoom was experiencing difficulties but were instructed on how to join in the learning process. However, Zoom was up and running before most students began their classes.  

"Right around that time we asked our staff to go to plan b with Google Meet," Palm Springs Unified School District Director of Educational Technology, William Carr said.

Despite Google Meet not having as many features as Zoom, Carr said it was good to have as a backup plan for teachers and students, and gave them a video option for synchronous learning. The service is also among the main options PSUSD teachers see as they log in.

"We trained the whole summer long on Zoom and Google Meet. They use Google Classroom daily," Carr said.

The decision to make the switch was made just minutes before classes went online. All three districts notified parents as soon as possible.

Coachella Valley Unified School District Superintendent Maria Gandera, Ed.D. said teachers trained on Google Classroom in March and April. She said they are receiving further instruction. Gandera released a statement:

Zoom experienced technical issues early this morning as has been widely reported.  As soon as we became aware of the issues, students and staff were redirected to CANVAS and to Google Classroom.  We were happy to hear that by 8:15 am, Zoom appeared to be have resolved their technical problems.

Some teachers were forced to not have synchronous learning. The glitch has spawned even more concerns that this likely will not be the last.

"45 minutes is still time into a classroom. It needs to be addressed, it needs to have a backup plan and they should have had a backup plan," said Sanchez.

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Shelby Nelson

Shelby Nelson is a News Reporter for KESQ News Channel 3. She joined our team in September 2019 after living in San Francisco for 6 years. Learn more about Shelby here.

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