Watch the Webinars: Educators Discuss the Evolution of SSO in Schools
“There is more interest from school and districts than ever before about the need for single sign-on to ensure a seamless digital teaching and learning experience but SSO means many different things to different people,” explained EduTone CEO, Julian Mobbs. In partnership with PowerSchool, EduTone recently sponsored a series of 3 webinars with educational technology leaders from schools and districts from around the country to illustrate more clearly what single sign-on (SSO) means for schools and the potential impact SSO platforms can have. Watch the webinars below:
The Evolution of Single Sign-On in Schools (and How It Can Help You)
How Identity and Access Management Can Save Money, Drive Usage and Increase Safety
Tom Biegel, Director of Technology, Cristo Rey St. Martin College Prep – Illinois:
Jeannie J. Fox, Instructional Technology Data Communications Specialist and Dr. Mary Hall, Supervisor of Instructional Materials, Alachua County Public Schools – Florida:
Deborah K. Menefee, Executive Director of Technology, Willis Independent School District – Texas:
EduTone Helps Single Schools Scale and Serve Students Better
CRISTO REY ST. MARTIN COLLEGE PREP
This is the second school I have built with EduTone Xchange. Before EduTone Xchange at my last school they were thinking of hiring two more techs. After the Xchange, there was no need. Once I brought EduTone to CRSM, we didn’t need someone to enter user data into all our applications anymore. Also, we don’t need servers to manage user accounts on computers. The student gets a guest login and then goes to the EduTone page to find all his or her web-based apps, including Microsoft Office 365 and Google Docs. We are or have used EduTone to centralize access to Sword, Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Drive, GradPoint (was Nova Net), PowerSchool, Schoology, Constant Contact, SchoolMessenger, Salesforce, eApps and more.
I’ve implemented EduTone’s solutions in two different school settings – one in North Chicago and one on the Pine Ridge Reservation – where students live in communities fraught with poverty and in schools that operate with funding from donations. And we were able to cut costs and upgrade our technology to be top of the line. The kids are the ones who benefit and I’m grateful for the efficiencies the system has provided. It’s a new level of technical competence that school leadership never imagined.
Thomas “TJ” Lynch
Former Director of Campus Management
Cristo Rey St. Martin College Prep, Illinois
WATCH THE WEBINAR:
Learn more about CRSM’s SSO journey and how single sign-on has transformed what they do.
EduTone Maximizes Time Spent Learning, Teaching in Florida Schools
Alachua County Public Schools are rated among the best in Florida, with the state’s highest SAT scores and highest ratio of passed Advanced Placement tests. To continue providing an outstanding education, the district adopted 1:1 eLearning, which provided numerous benefits as well as a few challenges.
Students and teachers enjoyed using the many educational websites and online resources available, but they also found it difficult and time-consuming to access the content. Precious classroom minutes ticked by every time students had to log into a website, and outside of the school setting, students and teachers were unable to securely access all the digital resources.
Administrators were also frustrated, in part because they were unable to view and monitor student usage of the educational sites. The numerous types of devices at the schools—ranging from iPads to Windows-based computers—also made IT management difficult, especially since Web applications could not be deployed consistently across all platforms.
Service: Single Sign-On by EduTone
Deployment: Alachua County Public Schools (www.sbac.edu)
Location: Gainesville, FL
Number of units: 33,000 end users at 40 school sites
WATCH THE WEBINAR:
Learn more about Alachua’s SSO journey and how single sign-on has transformed what they do.
Alachua County Public Schools integrated EduTone’s Single Sign-On (SSO) solution to simplify and automate online access for students, teachers, and administrators. EduTone’s SSO solution was designed to help schools free up valuable instructional time and relieve technical and administrative challenges, providing easy, fast, and secure access to online resources and content through a single portal. By accessing the EduTone solution, the schools gained access to free content from education service provider partners, including popular sites such as McGraw Hill, Waterford English Learning, Adaptive Curriculum, and Edmodo.
HOW IT WORKS
EduTone’s SSO platform is a device- and operating system-agnostic solution that synchronizes with the district’s Active Directory user IDs and passwords, eliminating the need for students and teachers to remember usernames and passwords for each of the numerous applications they access each day.
Administrators created the initial username and password for the students, which simplified adoption. All the digital resources for all the district’s schools—including more than 25 Web applications and 15 group benchmarks—were integrated into the Passport, enabling them to be easily accessed once users log in to the Passport itself.
EduTone’s Platform has been deployed on more than 16,000 PCs and will be deployed on thousands more tablets in the next year. Already, all 3,000 teachers in the district are successfully using the solution with minimal training.
During class, it used to take students in the Alachua County Public Schools district an average of five minutes to log in and access each educational website. Today, that time is devoted to learning. Students simply log in once to the EduTone Single Sign-On Passport, and they’re done — there’s no need to log in to each site with a separate username and password.
EduTone’s solution also makes it possible for students and teachers to securely access educational resources from their homes and other locations. Because the solution is device- and OS-agnostic, users are not limited in the types of devices they can use, including laptops and tablets with a variety of operating systems; and of course, including their own personal devices rather than having to rely on those provided by the schools themselves.
For IT administrators, EduTone’s solution simplifies and centralizes management and enables access control. Administrators can now quickly and easily manage user accounts, provision services by role, and authenticate users—all from a single, virtual admin console.
Furthermore, administrators have the added capabilities of: administering disparate education user groups outside the school setting including teaching staff, temporary support staff, alumni, students, parents; efficiently monitoring and learning from user behaviors and usage patterns of services to help make the right decision when subscriptions are due for renewal; making better use of scarce technology resources by managing interoperability between applications; increased security and meeting regulatory requirements, e.g. Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA); securely connecting with other schools in the District (and beyond) to share resources; being able to effectively manage BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) initiatives.
With EduTone’s SSO solution, Alachua County Public Schools have increased the benefits of 1:1 eLearning. By making it easier and faster to access online resources, the district has increased the amount of classroom time spent teaching and learning, which is likely to help the district continue to lead the State in educational results.
EduTone Extends Presence in South Africa with Teacher Community Portal
The teaching of Maths and Science in South African schools is among the worst in the world. One of the main contributing factors for this is that Maths and Science teachers do not have adequate support and necessary platforms to collaborate, obtain and share knowledge, ideas and solutions with one another. As a result teachers struggle to help learners produce optimal matric results in Maths and Science which would see them qualify for tertiary education and ultimately realize their career ambitions.
Service: A white-label version of the “We the Teachers” teacher community platform from EduTone and an integrated rewards program from UwinIwin.
Deployment: Nationwide (post-pilot)
Location: South Africa
Scale: 455,000 end-users at 26,000 school sites (after initial pilot)
zibuza.net is an exclusive and dedicated Social Networking Platform for the various organizational groups within the South African education system that enables sharing, collaboration and enhanced communication among stakeholders; where community members are recognized and rewarded for their contributions and participation.
It is a platform that creates value and empowers partnerships by facilitating interactions between teachers, government, business, educational organizations and agencies, as well as public and private non-profit agencies. The zibuza.net community will initially empower grade 10, 11 and 12 Maths and Science Teachers in South Africa, before being opened up in 2016 to the greater teaching community.
HOW IT WORKS
Connect, Share, Find – Get Rewarded!
zibuza.net saves teachers valuable time and improves learner performance by giving them access to quality resources like lesson plans, classroom activities, tools and files. Teachers can create learning environments that are fun, interactive and engaging by browsing an App Store for digital content that covers a multitude of subjects specific to the South African curriculum and in formats that cater for any learning style – video, interactive learning objects, animations, audio, high-definition pictures and games. Teachers can access professional development and networking opportunities through courseware, online discussion forums and topical interest groups. Teachers can connect with peers from their district, province or across the country and engage with organisations like government, business, unions, NPOs, CSIs and education agencies.
The zibuza.net community is socially-driven (uploads, downloads, sharing, comments, rating and reviewing resources, etc.) which enables the accurate tracking of end user activity. This usage data then serves as input to a Rewards program which allows teachers to earn points for relevant, measurable behaviors and provides each individual with their own points earning statement and catalog. The rewards catalog offers teachers a selection of 12,000 lifestyle-related items.
EduTone provides cutting-edge, easily customizable, enterprise-centric services dedicated to serving the needs of today’s educational institutions around the world. We The Teachers is one such service, currently serving over 100,000 end users in 25 countries.
UwinIwin is a leading provider of inspirational recognition and reward, incentive, loyalty and performance improvement solutions; Operating in South Africa, India, Brazil, Kenya, Nigeria, Ghana, Egypt and Mauritius
Marvel Technologies is the sole agent for EduTone in Southern Africa, providing better access to quality education of all, through ICT.
Dr CL Smith Foundation is a registered non-profit organization creating and driving positive social change through education, sport and health.
By enabling an environment that promotes sharing, collaboration and enhanced communication within a focused ecosystem among all key stakeholders that promotes positive behavior through reward, we are able to improve the quality of education outcomes in South Africa.
• Community members can securely store and share resources that they have developed and maintain all school developed resources in one convenient location.
• Members can rate resources and identify exemplar materials.
• Provide a safe, secure and private network for the teaching community.
• Create groups that allow for focused discussions and resource sharing.
• Create forum topics and online surveys that encourage participation, contributions and involvement in school and community issues.
• Boost teacher morale and drive positive behaviors by recognizing and rewarding top contributing teachers, schools and organizations.
• Harness the combined effect of all stakeholders by incorporating all key organizations and outreach programs focused on Basic Education.
• Provide stakeholders with comprehensive insight into the teaching community via custom reporting.
Teachers play a significant role in the uplift and transformation of our society. They bear the weight and responsibility of teaching, and, apart from parents, are the main source of knowledge and values for children. The zibuza.net community is in support of the South African Department of Basic Education’s efforts to address the multiple and complex challenges that the education sector faces, and in particular, strengthening support for teachers.
EduTone’s Single Sign-On Solution, part of Intel® Education
EduTone are proud to have a customized version of its platform as an integral part of Intel® Education Services, a comprehensive services suite that broadens the classroom ecosystem to help school IT support, protect, and manage technology easily and cost-effectively.
Click on the links below to see how EduTone’s Single Sign-On Solution, part of Intel® Education, enables users of Intel® Education devices to quickly access multiple educational content sites easily and securely through a single portal on any device to eliminate multiple usernames and passwords and maximize student and teacher learning time, with cloud or onsite hosting and IT manageability tools.
Online Learning Resources Service From EduTone Chooses Cloud Solution to Improve Service Delivery
EduTone needed to replace the original on-premise solution for its Digital Content Library, a global online platform for teachers and students to access educational resources (under its Global Grid for Learning (GGfL) brand). It chose Windows Azure, which provided a cloud-based platform that best met the requirements for flexibility and lower costs. The GGfL Library is now delivering digital content from 50 different providers with teachers and students able to work with content from within the Microsoft Office 2010 suite…
To read the full case study, please go to the page on the Microsoft Case Studies website.
EduTone’s Platform goes from strength to strength with Pearson Places in Australia
We are now into the third year of our relationship with Pearson Australia and our white label version of our SSO Platform, having initially been successfully integrated into Pearson Places, has also been successfully integrated into various SIS platforms used by Pearson’s educational institution customer base in Australia. As a result, our SSO Platform now serves over 350,000 end users through Pearson Places, a 100% year-on-year growth rate each year which has enabled Pearson to capture a 30% share of the Australian SIS market. Its scalability, ease of integration and above all, ease of use both from end user and administrative perspectives, have all been contributing factors to its phenomenal success.
This has all been achieved ahead of forecast thanks to EduTone’s excellent customer support where any issues raised have always been dealt with within a 24-hour period despite the significant time differences between Australia and the US.
NVSES – Streamlining Bulk User Account Creation, User Data Ingestion and Reporting
The National Virtual School of Emerging Sciences (NVSES) is a collaborative project between Monash University, the John Monash Science School, and Pearson Australia. The project was funded by the Australian Department of Education through its Broadband Enabled Education and Skills Services Programme.
NVSES gives Year 10 students with a passion for science a virtual learning experience to nurture their curiosity for new and emerging sciences. Students can study up to four units, each for eight weeks, in Astrophysics and Nanotechnology. All units are aligned with the Australian National Curriculum.
The NVSES team had chosen the RealSmart Learning Portfolio as its optimal online learning environment. While RealSmart delivers a superb user experience for students, it has the following weaknesses:
● Absence of features that enable the creation of user accounts in bulk
● Absence of assessment and attendance monitoring tools
● Insufficient reporting capabilities
Having forecasted a significant growth in the number of students in their system, the NVSES team identified an urgent need to develop and integrate within the Learning Portfolio a database management tool that would streamline user account creation with the capabilities of handling massive data ingestions as well as accurate reporting specific to their unique requirements.
Service: Student Enrolment System
Deployment: Amazon Cloud Services (Australia)
Location: Australia, countrywide implementation
Number of units: Confidential
In order to cover gaps in user account management operations, EduTone was asked to develop a Student Information System (SIS) on behalf of Pearson Australia for countrywide use in Australia by the National Virtual School of Emerging Sciences (NVSES).
To meet these goals, EduTone worked directly with Pearson Australia, NVSES, and their representatives and stakeholders to gather information about features specific to the NVSES study process and in turn to develop an SIS based on these requirements and specifications.
The resultant NVSES SIS is capable not only of keeping track of school and student information but also of handling user account provisioning and single sign-on (SSO) into a third party application – in this case, the RealSmart Learning Portfolio. The SIS provides teachers with flexible class scheduling, assessment and attendance tracking tools as well as advanced reporting capabilities that enable the generation of reports specific to the NVSES study process, such as the end of term report.
HOW IT WORKS
To enable participation in the NVSES program, NVSES administrators can simply submit via the SIS developed by EduTone an enquiry that triggers an automated email with further registration instructions and a unique link to the registration form. School administrators fill in information about their school and attach all required legal documents.
NVSES administrators review the submitted applications, and approve or decline school registration requests. Once a school is approved, the SIS creates liaison teacher and school administrator profiles within both the SIS and the Learning Portfolio.
An approved school can request the creation of user accounts and student enrollment in specific units and terms. Student information can be ingested manually or “in bulk” through a CSV file upload.
NVSES administrators review student profiles and check whether they have received all the required documentation, such as the “Consent to participate” form. Approved students are given one set of credentials that they can use to access both the NVSES SIS as well as their account in the Learning Portfolio that has been preconfigured according to their class schedule and study plan.
NVSES teachers keep track of students attendance and assessment and generate reports about enrolled students and the participating school.
The NVSES SIS is currently being used successfully by multiple public, private and Catholic schools across the whole of Australia.
The SIS solution developed by EduTone has enabled NVSES to streamline its administrative processes and made its learning environment scalable for a large number of users. Thanks to the centralized data management console, NVSES administrators can now manage user account information not only on an individual but also on an organizational level.
Furthermore, teachers and students no longer have to go through a lengthy registration process to create their accounts. Administrators can reset user accounts, and change user and organization profiles so that the system data matches the corresponding changes in the database and study process, thereby eliminating multiple barriers to user adoption.
EduTone’s SSO and identity management solutions can be easily integrated into established, ongoing processes and systems which use live user data. With over 10 years of experience in SSO applications, EduTone can cost effectively scale and adjust its solutions according to the specific needs of their customers, not only in the setting up of SSO applications but also to cover operational gaps in administrative processes such as those identified by NVSES.
Please note that this case study has been approved by all parties but is not an endorsement of EduTone’s services by Monash University.