Mother of two secondary school students in 5th and 3rd year in Paris, Marie saluted the effort made by her children’s teachers to concoct “An almost normal course program”, with “At least two visios per day”. “The teachers got rid of it, unlike what happened during the first confinement”, she observes. Unfortunately, in the morning hours of Tuesday April 6, the first day of distance learning, the voluntarism of the teaching teams came up against the dysfunction of the digital work environment.
“A quota logic”
“My daughter called me at work, distraught, telling me that she was unable to connect to the Paris Classe Numérique platform”, she says. On the screen, invariably, this same message: “In exceptional circumstances, exceptional measures… To allow everyone to access their educational network in good conditions, we have limited the time for sessions and introduced a quota logic. When the maximum number of users is reached, you must wait to access them in your turn. Sorry for this constraint. Come back and try again in a few minutes. Thank you for your understanding. “
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Messages of this type have reached students and teachers overwhelmingly all over France. “Since 9 hours, the digital environment (ENT) of the region is saturated and does not respond, only 6 students in my class have been able to connect to the BigBlueButton virtual classroom”, thus strangles a teacher in computer science, in BTS, in a high school in Tours. “And the CNED virtual classroom is just as saturated. “
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“Everyone was ready, except the ENT”, ironically on his Twitter account the academic section of Versailles of SNPDEN, a union of management staff.
Several affected regions
Affected, among others, the digital work environments of the Île-de-France, Grand Est, Hauts-de-France and Normandy regions. “These problems are linked to the service providers concerned in these regions who have encountered technical difficulties due to the severe overload of the infrastructures., ensures the Ministry of Education. The competent services of the local authorities concerned are in the process of dealing with these difficulties which should be resolved quickly. The academic services and the Ministry of National Education are supporting communities so that these services are restored as quickly as possible. “
At the same time, continues the ministry, the device My class at home was the subject of ” several simultaneous DDoS attacks on the servers ”in other words, concerted attacks aimed at making a server or infrastructure available. Jean-Michel Blanquer’s entourage evokes hostile action “Coming from abroad”.
“Despite these malicious acts, attendance at 10 am today remains high: 500,000 students and teachers access the platforms”, assures the ministry in its press release. Half a million out of twelve million students.
Already many bugs a year ago
The launch of homeschooling in March 2020 had already been marked by many technical hiccups. Many teachers then preferred to use tools for the general public, other than those offered by the national education system. A significant proportion of teachers had chosen not to offer a virtual classroom.
→ READ. School: lessons for a year under Covid-19
This is very much the case this week in the first grade, where the students, if we take into account the Easter Monday holiday, lose a maximum of three and a half days of attendance and where many teachers have preferred to give upstream of the homework, ” autonomy “… By implicitly asking the parents again.