Fort Bend ISD virtual learning launches after short delay

SUGAR LAND, Texas (KTRK) -- Fort Bend ISD's virtual learning got off to a slow start after the company behind the website couldn't handle the demand.

On Monday morning, Simran Jain and her brother, Sambhav, couldn't wait to get their first look at Fort Bend ISD's new virtual learning site after the coronavirus outbreak closed their schools.

"When we had school you're like, 'I don't want to come to school, and this is too hard,'" Simran Jain explained. "Now, when you don't see your friends, teachers and environment, you definitely miss it."

But the joy didn't last very long.

"It was hard to get into the website at first, and then once we got in, it wouldn't let us into certain apps," Simran recalled. "So, we were emailing our teacher saying, 'I can't get in. I'm trying.'"

After a few hours, Schoology, the company behind the virtual learning platform, was able to fix the problem that was caused by increased usage. The company said it will continue to monitor the site for any problems.

"I'm really grateful that Fort Bend ISD and their teachers have been communicating with us as parents," said parent Brian Garcia. "I really think we have to get the software addressed because if we're going to continue pushing that toward the children, to us, it's got to be functional."

After fixing the problem, students got their first look at virtual learning.

"It was different because we're used to the interaction, the social interaction, and it was so different seeing them through a camera," Simran explained.

"Now you have the teacher in front of you online," her brother explained. "So you can do everything. And, I liked it. I mean, it was pretty fun."

Virtual learning will be available for Houston ISD students on Tuesday. The district says the program will combine both a website and lesson plans offered on TV.

Following Monday's issues with Fort Bend ISD, ABC13 asked Houston ISD leaders if its website is ready to handle the demand, but emails weren't returned.

On the district's website, there's a section titled 'H.O.M.E.' where you can not only learn about resources for your kids, but there's information to help parents make Tuesday's launch successful as well.

If it doesn't work right away, the Fort Bend ISD students said they have patience because when it does work, it'll be great to see familiar faces.

"I can relax now. I thought, 'Okay. I know school is going on now,'" said Sambhay.

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