Students in Dory Fravel's fourth-grade Iowa classroom got knocked offline while taking mandatory state achievement exams.
Vermont teacher Marcia Blanco whiled away the night while the school's slow-as-syrup Internet connection downloaded software.
And technology directors in Washington state restricted the number of classrooms that could get Web access at any one time to ensure computer screens didn't freeze up.
As public schools nationwide embrace instruction via iPads, laptops and other technologies, many are realizing they lack the necessary broadband speed to perform even simple functions. This is crimping classroom instruction as more teachers pull lesson plans off the Internet and use bandwidth-hungry programming such as video streaming and Skype.