NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Security concerns about Zoom’s video conferencing led New York City education officials to ban the platform, but during this critical time of remote learning, some parents say the changes make it harder for their children.
Zoom has become a household word in homes all across the tri-state area.
Many schools use the video conferencing platform for remote learning, bringing the classroom to students’ homes.
But security and privacy concerns prompted the New York City Department of Education to ban the use of Zoom.
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Parents like Lynn Dillon believe the DOE should have known about Zoom’s potential issues long before now.
“I know that when they started the remote learning, it was very sudden and it was flying by the seat of your pants, but it’s been three weeks. They should be making better decisions,” Dillon told CBS2’s Hazel Sanchez.
Dillon says the platform switch is extremely challenging for her 12- and 7-year-old sons. They’re both on the autism spectrum and not only need video interaction with their teachers and specialists, they also need consistency.
“Pick one or two things and let’s go with it. Let’s all get used to it. But that’s not the case. They’re going back and forth, flip-flopping on all these different platforms for the kids and the parents to get used to using, and then when you add on children with special needs on top of that, it’s extremely frustrating,” Dillon said.
The Department of Education says the transition will be gradual as it trains teachers on secure tools like Google Meets and Microsoft Teams.
The DOE denied CBS2’s request to speak directly with schools chancellor Richard Carranza, who defended his decision during Mayor Bill de Blasio’s Sunday press conference.
“Zoom, and we’ve been working with Zoom, is unwilling and unable to meet the security needs of our students. We will not put our students’ information out in cyberspace for anybody to access. That’s unacceptable,” Carranza said.
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Michael Mulgrew, president of the teachers’ union, supports the decision to protect students, but he says the platform switch will disrupt learning.
“What we’re gonna do as a union is we’re gonna get the folks that were using the other platform to talk to the people on Zoom so it can help make the transition easier,” he said.
Dillon says she understands the security issue too, but she says the DOE needs to choose a secure platform and stick with it.
“Don’t go back next week and say, OK, the founder said he’s working on the security issues, so let’s start using it next Tuesday. I’m not. I’m not. Sorry, I’m not,” Dillon said.
Consistency brings comfort, which is what everyone could use more of right now.