Return to school brings WiFi issues

Students grapple with Wi-Fi problems as hybrid returns


Jacob Khabie

Junior Olivia Brown does work during class Feb. 22. Students returning in person for hybrid learning have experienced Wi-Fi connection issues.

Tobias Khabie and Jacob Khabie

When junior Jordan Clarke opened her Windows computer as she prepared for her first class in the hybrid learning model, she was met with an odd message.

“When I clicked on the student Wi-Fi, it said that I needed to download this application and so I clicked on it and it would download to my computer,” Clarke said. “When it said it was done I went back to the page for Student Orioles’ (Wi-Fi), but it would still be on the same screen and so I downloaded the application a couple times. Nothing ever happened so I ended up using my phone’s mobile hotspot throughout (both) days.” 

Many teachers and students like Clarke dealt with Wi-Fi issues as Park returned to hybrid Feb. 22. According to science teacher Alex Polk, while accommodations were made for those who faced these problems, it was still inconvenient.

“I know some of my students are struggling with it,” Polk said. “We were able to get them chromebooks, but in the moment it still was a little bit unfortunate.”

According to junior Anna Haen, teachers tried to help students the best they could, but to no avail.

“Teachers were helpful and patient trying to work out a majority of these tech issues, but it was kind of something consistent throughout the day and throughout the school, at least for the first two days,” Haen said.

Sophomore Nevaeh Dobyne said the slow Wi-Fi has caused them to fall behind on their work, but they have turned to alternate solutions.

“(Slow Wi-Fi) can start things off a little slow and get me behind,” Dobyne said. “I just find myself asking for more like paper things, so I don’t have this issue.”

It presents more of a rocky road, it’s a couple more hoops that we are jumping through, as a community and as a school. It’s bits and pieces that we’re working through.”

— Anna Haen

According to Clarke, she wants Park to upgrade the Wi-Fi so students in school can still be connected to the internet, which is where most of the curriculum takes place.

“If the school expects us to be on our computers throughout the whole day, they need (to) fix the WiFi and so I can be on Wi-Fi as opposed to my (hotspot), and so other people don’t have that issue as well,” Clarke said.

According to Dobyne, having slow Wi-Fi at school contributes to redundancies of hybrid learning.

“There’s already the feeling of going to school just to be on your computer, but then realizing that the computer is going to be slow because of the school Wi-Fi, if a class is only using computers it feels like it’s defeating the purpose,” Dobyne said. “Faster Wi-Fi would make it not defeat the purpose as much.”

Despite the difficulties presented by the poor Wi-Fi, Haen is optimistic students and staff will persevere as they have throughout the pandemic.

“It presents more of a rocky road, it’s a couple more hoops that we are jumping through, as a community and as a school,” Haen said. “It’s bits and pieces that we’re working through.”