Welcome to the FAQ page for Distance Learning at Poly. As you navigate through supporting your student at home, we wanted to provide some troubleshooting answers to questions you might have. We will continue to update this page as we progress through the year. Thanks so much for your feedback.

List of 12 frequently asked questions.

  • What is Zoom and why are we using it?

    Zoom is an online video conferencing and collaboration platform that allows individual, small group, class, and large group online meetings. It is similar to Skype, Webex, Google Meet, and GotoMeeting. In our decision, we wanted to leverage the tools we already had in place (MyPoly and Google), but lacked a standard solution for video conferencing. Video conferencing, while available in Google with Meet and Hangouts, did not have the same tools, features, and robustness of Zoom. Based on the broad features, quality of service, and scalability, we decided to standardize on Zoom.
     
  • What tips can you offer in helping me support my student’s tech use at home?

    While technology certainly has become the primary method of delivery of our program, our teachers are working hard to provide a balance of experiences during these times, and do not have the intention of having students on the screen all day. That being said, we recommend taking a look at the following. (depending on the age and grade level, approaches may vary)

    • “Check-in with the tech” regularly with your student throughout the day. Ensuring that your student knows you are there and there is oversight and support is important. With many of us at home working, and potentially other children in the home, the increase in use and bandwidth could mean that they’re having issues. It’s also a good touch point to ensure that any social or behavioral issues through technology are supported.

    • Monitor social media use. Maintaining access and regular checks on your child’s social media use and posts is important to supporting their social emotional development and state of mind during these times. A note, that students under the age of 13 are by law not allowed to have social media accounts of any kind. This includes Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, TikTok, Snapchat, etc. If you have questions about particular apps, please consult their Terms of Service and Privacy Policies, or contact John Yen, Director of Technology, jyen@polytechnic.org.

    • Make sure your student is maintaining school appropriate contexts and attire. Students should not be using technology in bed or in the bathroom, and should be dressed in school appropriate attire. Creating clear boundaries of use and interactions is important in defining appropriate use and behavior.

    • Make sure your child is using their real name and a school appropriate image or background when engaging in Zoom and other communications, including Gmail and other digital services and platforms related to their classes. In order to ensure the safety of our students and our online learning environments, students should represent themselves accurately and appropriately. In some cases, students may not be admitted to a class if a teacher cannot recognize them, or may be removed from the session if their profile is inappropriate.

    • Make sure your students’ workspace is clearly defined. Having a desk, or a space at the dining or breakfast table, that is clearly defined as a place for “school” with good lighting and ample space to write is important in further defining the boundaries of work vs. play.

    • Promote non-technology activities during breaks and lunch. A needed break from all technology is healthy anyway, but it’s important to provide structure and guidance for young people during this time. It is very easy to slide into an 8+ hour tech day while we are in social distancing and isolation.

    • Set “turn-off the tech” times. At the end of the school day, or after homework, try and leave time for the whole family to turn off the tech and engage face-to-face. With the lack of real world human connections, it’s important to provide students with a sense of home community and life. Echoing the earlier recommendation, students should not be on devices in bed at night. Doing what you can to support this will be important as they navigate their use and mitigate tech fatigue.
  • My internet connection is slow, or I’m having problems with my WiFi.

    There are several mitigating factors that can contribute to poor internet connections or wifi performance. Depending on your provider and location, internet connection speeds and reliability can vary greatly. We suggest contacting your Internet Service Provider immediately if you are experiencing drops in connection or slow performance.

    In addition, you may have a wireless router or mesh system in your home. These systems can also require attention. We are happy to provide as much guidance as we can in troubleshooting issues revolving your wireless or Internet connections at home. Please contact helpdesk@polytechnic.org.

    In addition, we recommend going through the following Troubleshooting Home Wireless guide before contacting us. 
     
  • How can I tell if we have the latest version of Zoom?

    Zoom regularly updates it’s client and will indicate with a banner notice when an update is available and prompt you to download and update the client. Clicking on your user icon or photo in the upper right hand corner of the client will reveal a drop-down menu of options, one being “Check for Updates.” Running this will show what client version you are on and prompt you to update to the lastest. We recommend downloading and installing any updates that come through as they are accompanied by ongoing security and privacy enhancements among other feature improvements.
     
  • I noticed that there are a lot of updates on my child’s computer, should I install them? And when is it a good idea to restart my child’s computer?

    Operating system updates are important in maintaining the integrity of your system and  should be run regularly, and during the evening or weekends. That being said, not all updates are created equally, and some may be incompatible with your device. Please consult your software or operating system vendor documentation for compatibility and interoperability.  It is recommended to restart or reboot your computer or device at least once a week.
     
  • What is the difference between the Zoom desktop application and the website?

    Zoom’s desktop application is far more robust than the web client, and allows for greater control and participation in meetings. We recommend that all students, faculty , and staff download the Zoom application on their devices to facilitate meetings and gatherings.
     
  • I am hearing about security issues with Zoom, what is Poly doing about it?

    Zoom, like many other video conferencing platforms, has been thrust into the spotlight. It is widely documented that Zoom executed their platform with some less than ideal tactics and measures. This article provides a succinct summary

    While many of the issues are concerning, many have been addressed and Zoom’s CEO issued the following post addressing their past, and ongoing, security issues and their approaches in moving forward

    Since the issuance of this statement Zoom has continued to make adjustments to their security and privacy policies and procedures. Given their efforts and the value that this tool brings to our school and the investment of professional development and preparation, we will remain with Zoom for the foreseeable future. 
     
  • What is “Zoombombing?”

     “Zoombombing” is the act of an uninvited attendee coming into a meeting and being disruptive or inappropriate. There are many instances in the last couple of weeks of this happening at other schools and institutions, but it has yet to happen at Poly. In response to these issues, Zoom has by default turned on their Waiting Room feature. This feature allows teachers and meeting hosts to curate who is entering their meeting, and allow them to come in. If a teacher does not recognize the attendee, they do not have to let them in. This feature along with training of our faculty and students will help mitigate this from happening.
  • We need a printer or scanner, or other tech accessories. What do we do?

    Best Buy and Amazon are your best bets in procuring technology devices these days. Best Buy has a store pickup process that allows for zero contact, and adherence to social distancing. Individual needs and family situations vary, so we cannot provide any recommendations. 

    If you receive financial assistance from the school, and require assistance in procuring technology items, please contact Lindsay Morales lmorales@polytechnic.org.
     
  • Our child’s computer is broken, or we just now realize we need another device in the house.

    We still have loaner devices available for all divisions. Please fill out the appropriate forms as they apply to your child’s grade level. John Yen, Director of Technology, will be in touch.

     
  • Which browser is best to use with Zoom and MyPoly?

    Zoom works with Safari, Chrome, Firefox, and Edge.  As stated before, we recommend using the desktop client to ensure that everyone is using the same platform. Meeting links will pivot from a web link, and the web page will launch and start the desktop client, but the browser type is not relevant. To ensure that the pass-through link works properly we do recommend ensuring that you have the latest versions of your browser of choice.