Technical issues with Smartschool distance learning platform

At the start of the so-called “cooling off” week during which secondary school children are taught entirely by digital distance learning methods, many pupils had difficulty logging to the Smartschool distancing learning platform on Monday morning. Speaking earlier Smartschool’s Elsie Van Linthout told VRT News that in less than one hour 1.2 million pupils had logged on (or at least tried to log on) to Smartschool. This is three time the number that did so during the first lockdown last spring. By 10am most of the technical issues were reported to have been resolved. However, some schools were still reporting problems with the platform. 

Last month it was decided that the last week before half term should be one consisting solely of distance learning for pupils in Flemish secondary schools. Primary schools are open as normal. Many, but not all, Flemish schools use the Smartschool platform. VRT News received numerous reports of issues with the platform when pupils tried to log in earlier on Monday morning.

Smartschool says that the technical issues were caused by the sheer number of people trying to log in to the platform at once. “In the space of less than an hour we had 1.2 million people logging on”, Smartschools spokeswoman Elsie Van Linthout told VRT News. "This is three times as many as during the last lockdown despite primary schools remaining open".

Wasn’t this predictable?


The cooling-off week has been planned for some time so shouldn’t Smartschool have provided for extra capacity?

"We have upscaled for this week. But the numbers are astronomical”. Smartschool had anticipated twice the number of log ins as during the first lockdown. However, three times as many people tried to log in at the same time and this caused the system to falter. Meanwhile IT technicians are working flat out behind the scenes to ensure that things run much more smoothly during the rest of the week.



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