Technicians work to restore OneNote, other applications


OneNote down

Anna Xu

Microsoft OneNote is down for 40 percent of the student body across Columbia Public Schools, and students here are affected, as well.
Just two days ago, students lost access to the OneNote application as well as other applications, and the problem persists.
This year, CPS have transitioned to technology based classes. Students and teachers rely on the OneNote application, a computer program that serves as a collaboration center where teachers can distribute curriculum, grade work, and connect with students.
Beth Shapiro, a media center specialist here, learned from the Technology Services at the Neil C. Aslin Administration Building, 1818 West Worley Street, that the issue occurred when the district pushed out iTunes to students, which interfered with OneNote. The department is working with Microsoft to fix the problem. Until then, she encourages students to seek out alternative learning platforms such as OneNote Online.
“It’s really out of our hands, however, students [can] still work through Microsoft 365 online,” Shapiro said. “It’s not necessarily going to be the same but it’s the next best thing to do.” Microsoft 365 Online or Office 365 Online refers to the other applications of Microsoft that can be accessed online, not directly on one’s desktop.
Barry Still, who teaches advanced placement and honors chemistry, relies upon OneNote for his classes. He has used it almost exclusively since the beginning of the year; therefore, the current issue of OneNote has strained the communication for his classes as the calendars and daily plans are put exclusively on OneNote. Because of this disruption, Still wonders if something more has caused the interference of OneNote.
“Teachers have iTunes and OneNote installed at the same time,” he said, “so what happened is the real question.”
Students such as Memphis Cutchlow, who are affected by this glitch in the OneNote system, worry that this disruption will prolong.
“I think OneNote is pretty effective most of the time, but [my concern is that] all of my stuff was on there. Plus, I have a personal notebook that I use for myself for my after school clubs and organisations, so when it fails it’s pretty inconvenient,” Cutchlow, a sophomore, said. “Even though it’s only been a day or so. I’ve already started to feel the effects of it.”
Cutchlow has tried the OneNote Online platform, but it is not the same for her.
“I learn better when I write. [OneNote online] is a lot more complicated in terms of the drawing tools,” Cutchlow said. “The drawing tools like highlighting, which I use a lot, is difficult [to use]. OneNote Online also [formats] differently and moves your text.”
Kenneth Koster, who works at the Technology Services at Aslin understands the concerns of the teachers, staff, and students.
“We will strive to have all technology up and running with no glitches by being proactive in all decisions made based on past and current knowledge,” Koster said. “Other possible fixes and workarounds are being tested, too.”
Because CPS only introduced the one-to-one laptops this year, Cutchlow suspects this won’t be the last time there will be technology difficulties.
I think teachers should have a backup plan because technology will inevitably fail,” Cutchlow said. “That’s not their fault but having homework and lesson plans easily accessible on other sites or other areas on the internet would be very helpful.”