Homeschooling website crashes before day starts
THE State Government's learning at home sites have reportedly crashed before the school day has even started, with frustrated parents sitting at home trying to log on with their children.
Sherwood State School parents were told there is a "statewide outage" for online learning platforms this morning including The Learning Place, the main portal for students to access school work and virtual platforms including Blackboard and Ed Studio.
"Dear families who are learning from home.
"Please be advised that there is a statewide outage for online learning platforms including The Learning Place, (which includes access to Blackboard and Ed Studio courses). Information and Technologies Branch of Education Queensland are working to resolve this with priority.
"We recommend that families access Reading Eggs and Mathletics at this stage.
"Thank you for your patience," the statement read.
A furious parent at Ascot State School said the system was a joke.
"If ever there was an argument for private schooling, this is it," said the mother of two.
"According to other parents I know, Terrace (St Joseph's College) and Somerville House are all systems go, while state school kids are left languishing."
The parent tried to log on at 8.30am but couldn't. "You think you've done it wrong because it is the first day so you start ripping your hair out, or what's left of it.
"Even before this debacle, we received nothing, no information on the software programs or equipment we would need … it is frustrating beyond belief.
"Now parents are supposed to be IT experts as well as work from home AND home school."
Parents have reportedly been unable to access the Learning Place and the Learning at Home websites, online resources for that house learning materials for students to use while they homeschool for the first five weeks of school.
The websites were unable to be used just minutes into the first day of Term 2, as the majority of the state's students start homeschooling for five weeks.
It comes after parents were told to keep their children home from school, with classrooms only open to children of essential workers who can't work from home.
People trying to log onto the sites this morning got a message reading: "This site can't be reached. The connection was reset."
Authorities were expecting less than 100,000 children to turn up to schools today - only about 10 to 15 per cent of the total number of Queensland students.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk yesterday said day one would be confusing while Education Minister Grace Grace pre-empted "teething problems".
Opposition Leader Deb Frecklington said angry parents were already reaching out to her.
"Labor have had weeks to get this right and have completely failed at the first hurdle," she told The Courier-Mail.
"From day one, the LNP called for more devices and better internet connections to ensure no child missed out on their education.
"Parents have every right to be angry and frustrated at Annastacia Palaszczuk today.
"Parents should have been able to send their kids to school if they wanted too."
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said she wasn't aware of it happening and would get Education Minister Grace Grace to respond.
"I think we always said there was going to be some teething issues and probably it's been overwhelmed by the number of people that are actually logging on ... so happy to look into that issue," she said.
Vulnerable children and the offspring of essential frontline workers who are in schools today are also unable to learn online, alongside their peers at battling the overloaded website at home.
"You may have realised by now that the Department of Education's Learning Place (virtual classroom) and OneNote are currently experiencing a larger than normal volume of activity," a email sent to Rainworth State School parents said.
"The students that are working from school are experiencing the same difficulty.
"This is not a school-based issue and the Department is working to rectify this. Please continue to log back in periodically to gain access. Again thank you for your ongoing support."
Parents of Gracemere State School were also urged to be "mindful" there were a lot of families trying to log on to the learning sites at once.
"A recording has been uploaded to Class Dojo to help you with logging into our edStudio. Please be patient and mindful that there are a lot of families doing the same thing across the state," the school posted on social media.
"It may take a couple of attempts to log in.
"If the system crashes, this is beyond our control here at school. Thanks for your understanding."
Some principals emailed concerned parents just one hour into the first day of the second term, reassuring them that no students physically at schools had an advantage and were also unable to access remote learning work.
Advice from schools also changed from parents reporting absences when work could not be completed to note that "missing learning at home for one day or several days is not of major significance".