FCPS Technology Team. Photo courtesy of Emily Antesberger

Chromebook Conundrum

December 12, 2017

SOL testing and exams are already stressful for both students and teachers, but when more than 2,200 Chromebooks aren’t working a week before testing, the panic starts to set in.

On Dec. 4, Google put out an update for Chromebooks that unintentionally made the machines forget their WiFi settings, specifically for admin consoles. That included school computers.

This led to a major problem with all the Chromebooks in Fluvanna County now without WiFi and exam week fast approaching.

The internet tech community immediately went to work, with multiple sources reporting on the problem and others hunting for its source.

Reddit was the first platform to find the problem, with Redditor “IsilZharealizing that the restrict WiFi feature blocked all forms of WiFi. However, the true fix to this was much more complicated than originally anticipated.

A little while after this problem was discovered, Google posted an official statement to their Twitter feed which proposed this solution: “To get your Chromebooks online: reboot & manually join a WiFi network or connect via ethernet to receive a policy update.

This meant that every single Fluvanna County Public Schools (FCPS) Chromebook in the entire county had to be manually rebooted and reconnected, a daunting task.

The FCPS Technology Team hopped on the situation immediately and went on the tedious mission of fixing the Chromebooks.

The tech mob swept through each building today touching over 2200+ Chromebooks to get them all working again,” said Josh Gifford, the Director of Technology for Fluvanna County.

The Technology Team managed to fix the problem in a single day, just in time for testing.

So when you’re sitting down this week to take any exams, don’t forget to think of the people who made the testing possible. (Because all students are definitely happy being able to test.)

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