Digital educational materials have provided many benefits for K-12 educators and students, including computer adaptive assessments to tools that allow students to collaborate and communicate 24/7. At the same time, tech programs have their own set of challenges, particularly when it comes to logging on. For years, users have needed to create and memorize a username and password for every system and app. During the edWebinar “Simplify Digital Access in K-12: Learn How District Leaders Eliminate Barriers,” the presenters discussed the importance of adopting a single sign-on program to manage digital access, the questions to ask when choosing a vendor, and tips for rolling out the new system.
First, many programs have different protocols for creating login information, causing students and educators endless frustration. They spend more time trying to remember how to access the program than actually using it, and they clog IT channels trying to recover passwords. Due to the variety of logins, students end up writing access information on sticky notes, in notebooks, etc., which compromises security. Or, to avoid writing them down, they create basic passwords that are easily hacked. Without a single sign-on, students may need to memorize multiple URLs and access paths and have difficulty getting to learning resources at home.
Once a district has decided to adopt single sign-on, the administrators vetting the vendors should ask several key questions.
1. How strong is the company’s K-12 track record? Will they understand the market’s unique needs and have relationships with other vendors in the industry?