In conjunction with the rest of the UK, parents, carers and pupils in Orkney experienced accessibility issues with Microsoft Teams – one of the main platforms being used for remote learning with schools closed meantime due to Scottish Government pandemic restrictions.
On Monday, 11 January, users found the technology was running slowly with some unable to access Microsoft Teams. By late afternoon the same day, Microsoft advised that the issues had been resolved, stating that they would continue to monitor the “health and trends” to ensure against a repeat.
Orkney Islands Council Executive Director of Education, Leisure and Housing James Wylie assured there was no need for alarm.
“This was not an issue that was unique to Orkney, Scotland, indeed the UK, and the issues felt here were reported and investigated by Microsoft, ensuring a speedy resolution.
“We recognise that some parents, carers, children and young people have been feeling overwhelmed and under pressure by all that is happening because of the speed of change.
“This was an unfortunate happening on the first day of remote learning but Microsoft worked with Education Scotland to resolve this as quickly as possible. Practical solutions which can be engaged with children and young people are always an option, such as reading, writing, practical maths, motor work such as Lego and cutting, physical exercise, crafts, art and music.
“The most important factor is maintaining everyone's mental and physical well-being in these challenging times.”