If you thought it was tough to migrate special purpose district meetings online, imagine the enormous task of shifting almost 20 million college students to virtual learning. That was the monumental challenge that colleges and universities faced last spring when they had to shift to remote learning almost overnight. This week, many of those schools are back in session, most employing at least partially virtual learning. Combine that with the 56.4 million students returning to elementary, middle, and high schools across the country, and you are talking about more than 75 million students who may have to log on to attend class.
It’s little wonder that servers are overwhelmed. Today Zoom experienced a major system outage, with more than 70% of users in the US reporting issues logging on and many more around the world. The outage lasted a number of hours and coincided with the first day of school for students at schools, colleges and universities across the country, causing major frustration in countless classrooms, home offices, and virtual workspaces. While the issue has been resolved, it raises concerns about the platform’s ability to keep up with the huge surge in users, and is sure to lead to conversations about how to provide a more reliable means of connection. Organizations, schools and businesses will need to consider what options they have for reaching their members, students, and employees should another outage occur. For special purpose districts, now is the time to think about how you would handle a similar outage in the future. Do you have a backup plan, just in case? How would you alert your board members, consultants, and the public if your remote meeting connection fails?
We at Triton are curious about your experiences with remote meetings. Have you had issues connecting? What’s the sound and video quality been like during the meetings you have attended? Would you like to see the practice continue? We would love to get your thoughts. We will share the survey’s results in a future Industry News post.