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The day our schoolworld – blackboard sites were gone…

December 29, 2015

this is a little stressful.  Walking into work and having your boss call you into her office and say “James, get in touch with so and so and find out why this web site is no longer registered…” .  In the meantime, users of that website have started calling and emailing the helpdesk with inquires about their web pages.  A couple teachers who have *teacher pages on the website contacted us first. A couple examples of rattled customers

Good morning – I got Brian’s email over xmas and attempted to access FLTCC’s site this morning. A prompt does appear stating that the domain has expired for the entire site, not just Brian’s teacher page. Any help would appreciated,


Hi Andy,
I was just checking my webpage, as my juniors are working on a project and I had provided them with resources on the page. I am a little alarmed because I receive a message that the domain has expired. I also attempted to log into the administrator section and receive the same message. This is the link to my class website
Currently my stomach is turning because I have 4 years worth of development put into this webpage and it is utilized daily. I don’t know if someone forgot to pay the electric bill or what but if this can not be recovered it will be a major issue.  any advisement or guidance would be most highly appreciated. Hope you guys are enjoying a merry Christmas. Thanks! B

We quickly realized that the entire site was gone, not just specific teacher pages.  After a little more digging, we discovered that two additional websites are gone.   Count them, 3, 3 websites there one day, gone the next.  Fortunately, it is vacation week for out school districts, so not too many people wanting the websites.  But, enough to contact us and create stress.  I have the following people emailing, calling or visiting me in my office yesterday.

teacher 1, 2 and 3 about their teacher pages

principle and director of the school whose site was gone

director of our group (my boss)

Not much fun.  What happened was the vendor, SchoolWorld had ownership of the 3 domain names and let them expire.  If we had ownership of the DNS, we would have been notified, many times, that the domain name was going to expire.  We did not own it, we did not get notified.

I contacted SchoolWorld shortly after finding out what happened, to their credit, they acted quickly and had the sites re-DNSed in a couple hrs.  My contact Javon, forwarded the info. to the engineering team, who sprung to action and got those DNSs re-registered.


That is correct.  The content will still be in place on our servers  We have renewed all three.  We are waiting for the DNS to propagate.  DNS propagation can take anywhere from a few hours up to 72 hours.  So far one of the domains is working again:  The other two shouldn’t be much longer.

these are the three sites


There was really nothing more for me to do but wait.  Once the sites were back up, I notified all the people who had notified me about the problem.  Good customer service.

My final takeaway is that two of these sites have teachers that use the teacher sites feature of the schoolworld/blackboard site.  That is a good thing.  I conceptualized a comparison to our moodle sites, where teachers also have courses, not sites, but their similarities are many.

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