Gaggle Speaks

Ideas, news, and advice for K-12 educators and administrators to help create safe learning environments.

Written by Heather Durkac
on May 5, 2020

Much like our education partners, we Gagglers have been dealing with our fair share of ups and downs during the pandemic. Along with many other cloud-based systems, we have had difficulties handling the increase of mail traffic in our system as school districts across the country made the necessary transition to distance learning. 

With all of the additional digital activity as students and educators shifted to a remote learning environment, what used to take seconds started taking hours. Your emails with important notifications, announcements, assignments, and notes of encouragement were delayed as a result of the increase in traffic. I recognize how hard it is to be patient in these circumstances—nobody likes to wait hours for anything that should be instant, myself included. 

Between school closures, new district implementations, and current partners expanding their services, we saw an exponential increase in traffic from one week to the next. The emails were getting bogged down, which resulted in a huge problem for our partners. To tackle this issue, we set up new servers, scaling up in a week what we would have normally done over a year. We pivoted as quickly as we could, but I know that we weren’t able to move fast enough to meet the needs of our partners during this time period. 

That being said, the people I’m surrounded by here are amazing. The Gaggle family is very mission-driven and hardworking, which has been evident during this crisis. As the Customer Service team saw the Implementation team step up to take on the first wave of work, they were inspired to help out. They quickly agreed that offering weekend coverage through March and April was vital in order to be available for our partners when they needed us. As content that needed to be reviewed started ramping up well into the night and weekend hours, team members were willing to change their schedules to meet those needs. It feels so good to do the right thing, and my fellow Gagglers have done just that. 

We’ve worked hard to ensure we can continue to meet the needs of our district partners as we grow and transition during this time of increased distance learning. We have been vulnerable and, like many district leaders, realized we didn't have all the answers or the best plan—so we asked questions and sought help.

I am thankful for this supportive, knowledgeable, and hardworking team. A small group of them have had to be on the front line of many calls, chats, and emails to check in on the status of our network. What’s more, our system administrators continue to work around the clock to keep the mail flowing—to say we have been taxed is an understatement. We will continue to evolve while we navigate the needs of our partners during this pandemic, and we will always be here to help keep your students safe. 

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