Internet troubles disrupt learning

Heather Rahn, Editor

Angeline Tong, Alexa Vale, Jocelyn Quinones, Magdalena Pyrczak happily using the partially fixed internet.
Angeline Tong, Alexa Vale, Jocelyn Quinones, Magdalena Pyrczak happily using the partially fixed internet.

In recent years Curtis has become a school that runs on technology. With Smart Boards, Chromebooks, and classrooms full of computers, technical difficulties, like the internet being down, can cause serious problems for teachers and students alike.

In late October Curtis experienced a brown out, a momentary loss of power that only causes the lights to flicker. Unfortunately, this also affected the school’s internet for several weeks.

English as a second language co-teachers Ms. Urban Rahn and Ms. Surowiec teach an after school class for their students that utilizes iPad minis and the app ST Math to reinforce their math skills. This app requires an internet connection, which made this class difficult.

“The whole class is based on an app that uses the Internet, so when the wifi didn’t work we had to find something else to do. Students were upset because they like to use the iPads. Technology is great until it doesn’t work,” said Ms. Urban-Rahn.

IB and SIS students have been using their Google Chromebooks for over a year now, and for many students using it to take notes and participate in class has become a part of their daily routine.

“It was frustrating, because I could not go on any sites or use Google Classroom for math quizzes. I had to use my phone in class instead,” said Ellis Mitchell, an IB students who frequently uses his Chromebook.

While the outage was difficult for the journalism classes in 322, even after the wifi came back the problem was not fixed. Access to the documents used by the newspaper and yearbook staff have since been restored,  but students who saved their work under their names on the student server still can’t retrieve their files, which means years of lost work.

Fast forward to early December, the school was again plagued with technology problems.  These problems, however, were not limited to Curtis.  A light tower fiber cut impacted seventy-two Staten Island schools. The entire internet was down, preventing both teachers and administrators from doing  their jobs.   The service was restored by Thursday afternoon.  “In my computer class we couldn’t access anything, it was frustrating, even when it came back on it was slow at first,” said Meghan Holliday.