The 2020’s started out historic enough, what with a global pandemic. But November 12, 2021 will go down in school history as the day BHS became inflicted with a second virus: malware.
A malware virus is a malicious software with specified targeting and intent, and they work a lot like physical viruses do. Once put into play, they attach to legitimate files and websites and spread through any infected flash drive, website or email. According to mcafee.com, the biggest concern is that, “Once activated, a virus may delete or encrypt files, modify applications, or disable system functions.” This has caused BHS a lot of trouble as Schoology and PowerSchool, sites staff and students heavily rely on, are connected to the currently infected system.
Perhaps the most directly affected by the current wifi and electronic ban are the staff and seniors who use laptops for practically everything. This has led many students to feeling similar to senior Jaiden Miller. “There’s no need for us to be here without access to our resources for school,” Miller said. Several students have even walked out of school as they see this currently as a waste of their time.
However, some members of BHS, like government and sociology teacher Mrs. Thompson, have developed a different view. “At first I was disappointed, especially because I could no longer use interactive online activities, and I’ve realized how much more engaging classes have been with the technology. But I think it’s also been a good [opportunity] to realize that we can still learn without tech.” Thompson said that with nothing from her lesson plans being accessible, she instead decided to hold a discussion day over current events. She described it as having gone really well, especially with how authentic and respectful the conversations were. Even so, while teachers are managing to adapt, we can’t stay offline forever.
From a teacher standpoint, there hasn’t been a whole lot of communication about this virus, other than not to use any computers or projectors. A big part of this is that there hasn’t been much to update on. In an interview Wednesday during school, the class of 2022 Assistant Principal Mr. Dowler shared that while the school corporation has been closing in on a plan to reboot the system, it may be some time until Brownsburg schools’ tech is back to full operation. This is because the malware virus is suspected to have been lying in a previously dormant file on the server, making it a tad more complicated to cure.
The good news right now is that BHS is expecting to resume electronic access for all students and staff on Monday, November 22. However, the “treatment” process will likely end up coming in stages.