Buffering: ELHS Technology Problems


Is East Lyme’s advance in technology helping or slowing down classes?

It’s fair to say that everyone has had some sort of frustrating experience with the technology at East Lyme High School. Whether it’s a teacher losing their lesson plans right in front of the class or a student’s lab report mysteriously being transmitted to a discreetly located folder on the computers, both faculty and students alike are left with the question of what is actually going wrong.
“Every single laptop at school takes 20-30 minutes to log in, [and] some of them don’t even turn on,” said senior Brody Monarca, who occasionally works with the building’s technology and sees the technology situation closer than most students.
Nevertheless, this is still a problem most students can relate to. Of the many possible causes for the problem, one is that the school cannot handle the influx of internet requirements, in addition to the push for all education to occur online.
“Over time, there’s going to be the infrastructure side of things – do we have enough broadband space, can we keep up with all the devices district-wide. That’s always an issue,” said Technology Instructional Coach Shannon Saglio. And because these are not matching the necessary capability, the result is a lacking technology  system.
Saglio joined the technology team last fall and has worked hard to make the building’s technology more user-friendly and compatible for both teachers and students to  use.
“I certainly can’t blame the situation on our tech department. It has been the ‘perfect storm’ of events that caused a problem no one saw coming,” said 3D Design teacher Paul Ciccone who has experienced many problems with connections and communications due to the new programming this year. This class deals exclusively with the computers, using many programs that are vital to the running of the class. And this ‘perfect storm’ of events? Mr. Ciccone explained that there have been numerous problems this year involving the programs the class uses, as the school computers are having difficulties connecting to the programs.
This class, along with many others have had to completely revamp their curriculum for this year, as teachers have had to make last second lesson plans as a result of sudden technology failures.
As a whole, many problems happening this year are due to an infrastructure revolutionizing at a pace that schools simply cannot handle.
“The technology is moving very fast and the tools are coming out very fast so the challenge has been that because of the transformation, schools tend to be very reactive over time,” said Ms. Saglio.
Saglio also noted that with a limited budget for technology related expenses, fulfilling the requirements of the school is virtually impossible. Not to mention that when such requirements are met, the time for new technology has already come. As of now, the plan for the technology team is to work down the ever-growing list of problems, starting with the most crucial.
“We hear you, and this year we’re trying to do a better job of tracking those needs in areas so that we can see larger trends like is it isolated to a building, a program, or is it actually a much larger issue and now we have to try and solve,” said Ms. Saglio.

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