Technical problems reported across U.S. as e-learning resumes after Labor Day


HARTFORD, Conn. (NewsNation Now) — A rough start to the school year for millions of young people across the country. Technical difficulties postponed the first day of school in districts nationwide. In one case, hackers staged a ransom-ware attack on the city of Hartford that impacted the local school district.

“We are often a subject of cyber-attacks,” Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin told reporters. “This was, however, the most significant and extensive cyber-attack that the city has been subject to.”

So, who did it? Authorities have no idea, but Hartford police are involved and very eager to track down whoever hacked the first day of school. 

The city has about 300 servers in its network and says at least 200 of them were targeted. They’re hoping the people responsible will be found and prosecuted.

District Superintendent Dr. Leslie Torres-Rodriguez points out the impact is especially serious this year.

“We are heavily relying on all of our technology and on our staff’s ability to access technology in order to deliver remote instruction, given that more than half of our students have elected to learn remotely.”

It’s a similar story across the country, in most cases minus the hackers. In some cases, learning by Zoom is revealing problems not just with the network, but with the hardware as well, or the lack thereof. Many districts are finding they’re short on computers and tablets, sometimes even on technical know-how.

In Buffalo, many students got an error message first thing Tuesday morning when they logged-on for their first day of remote learning.

Phil Rumore, president of the Buffalo Teachers Federation told NewsNation the union was doing its best to monitor the new mode of teaching.  “One of the things we’re hearing,” he said, “is that the teachers, especially in pre-K, first grade, haven’t had ample instruction as to how to use the devices.”

It’s a steep learning curve all around.

Luckily, the city of Hartford spent half-a-million dollars just last year protecting its servers, an investment that paid big dividends on Tuesday.

With the computer network secure, the -official- first day of school is Wednesday. 

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