Identity Automation's Identity and Access Management Blog

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Timothy Till has been a leader in solution sales since 1997, helping customers leverage technology to grow their business, and mitigate the costs of expanding. After joining the company in March 2008, Tim led Identity Automation's public sector sales efforts to record-breaking success year after year. He is a regular contributor to the Identity Automation Blog, a published science-fiction author, a martial arts instructor, and a subject matter expert on identity and access management use cases in K-12 and higher education.

This week, I’m heading to Sacramento, California for the 2016 CETPA Annual Conference. Held by the California Educational Technology Professionals Association (CETPA), the conference is attended by IT professionals from K-12 school districts throughout the state.

When Dustin Hardin became the Director of Technology for New Caney Independent School District in 2011, the district didn't have WiFi or student accounts and only had basic email for staff. However, district leadership had ambitious goals: to implement 21st century teaching methodologies in the form of digitized learning and ongoing student-teacher engagement. To get there, New Caney ISD created a program called 1:Vision, with the goal of issuing a laptop to each student in grades 3-12.

At the end of June, I joined more than 16,000 ed tech leaders as they converged on Denver, Colorado for a week of idea sharing, collaboration, and networking at the 2016 ISTE Conference & Expo. 

Located in the Atlanta suburb of Jonesboro, Georgia, Clayton County Public Schools (CCPS) is future-forward district with a vision of making the digital classroom a reality for its more than 55,000 students, staff, and administrators. As part of this, CCPS is aggressively working towards district-wide adoption of cloud-based education technology.

School district IT departments are under great pressure to do more with less. While much more focus tends to be placed on technologies that are used inside the classroom, those technologies are only possible with strong infrastructure in place on the backend. However, the money for both classroom and infrastructure technologies usually comes from the same budget, a budget which never seems to be large enough.

For us here at Identity Automation, we witnessed amazing growth in the education tech sector this year. It’s been quite a ride... from North Carolina’s Department of Public Instruction’s roll out of its cloud entity platform to our irrefutable support of the Student Privacy Pledge.

Last week I wrote a post explaining the details of single sign-on, commonly referred to as SSO. I discussed what it is, what it means, how it’s used and why it’s valuable. But today, why don’t we look at the opposite side of the spectrum - what life would be like without SSO. It’s an interesting question to consider because so many companies now utilize SSO, but it wasn’t too long ago that this was our reality.

As educational apps continue to rise in popularity in school districts across the country, educational technology administrators find themselves inundated. Just as quickly as IT can clear new applications for use, new ones crop up in classrooms - often without passing an IT review. This is the current state of the freemium application model in education, and it’s one that is creating a perpetual tug of war between teaching staffs and school technology departments.

If you work in the IT department or have contact with colleagues who do, you have most likely heard the term “single sign-on” (SSO). While it seems like a straight-forward description of a login technique, I’ve heard people describe it in a number of different ways.