What you need to know
- Microsoft Teams issues are creating problems for students and education in Scotland.
- Some students are unable to use the "join" button to enter virtual classrooms.
- Others experience slowdowns of the entire service, including delayed chats.
Students in Scotland started running into issues with Microsoft Teams recently. An issue with the service began in December that prevented some students from being able to use the "join" button to jump into virtual classrooms. Reports also indicate that starting on Monday, January 11, that some people started experiencing slowdowns of the service, including delayed chat functions. Now, the BBC reports that it's a national issue throughout Scotland and that it could take weeks to fully resolve.
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon states that the government is working with Microsoft to resolve the issue. Microsoft engineers are working on the issue but declined to comment to the BBC on if the issue was caused by increased demand for Microsoft Teams.
"Microsoft is still having some issues with Teams application. This is a national issue and will hopefully be resolved soon," said a text message from a primary school in Edinburg sent out to parents on Tuesday.
A post from Education Scotland reads:
We have continued to work with the Microsoft technical team to resolve the intermittent fault with the join button which has impacted a small number of users. We can confirm that Microsoft are a few weeks away from implementing a permanent fix for this. In the meantime please continue to use the manual workaround and where we can expedite any work we will do so.
We had received a small number of reports of delays within the chat function during some meetings. Microsoft are investigating ways to improve the user experience however it is working as designed. There are changes to operational use which can be implemented by our users to help improve their experience. Should anyone need assistance with this please contact the helpdesk for further information.
While the issue is affecting education in Scotland, Sturgeon explains that the issue is not exclusive to Scotland at this time. Microsoft confirmed to a Scottish government spokesperson, who spoke with the BBC, that Teams issues are also present in the rest of the UK and in northern Europe.
Sturgeon also explains that "It is not an issue with Glow, a Scottish government resource." Glow is a Scottish government resource that gives people access to Microsoft Office 365 and Google's G Suite, including Google Classroom. Local authorities elect which services to use.