Identity Automation's Identity and Access Management Blog

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Long Beach Unified School District is one of the forty largest school districts in the country with 94 campuses and more than 90,000 users comprised of students, teachers, faculty, and administrators.

Technology continues to be a driving force in education. Children as young as preschool age are using tablets in school, teachers are constantly brainstorming new ways to modernize their classrooms with educational apps, and IT personnel are under increasing pressure to ensure this ever-evolving digital environment is secure. By implementing a next-generation identity and access management solution school districts have the opportunity to effectively and efficiently regulate these transitions.

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.

You may be working alongside one of them and not even realize it: a substitute teacher, an adjunct professor, or a special education contractor. They’re all contingent workers - employees hired for a time period of one year or less with a specific end date; they could be full-time or part-time. Over the past decade, a trend has emerged in academia of these contingent workers being hired, and we’ve seen it accelerate at an increasingly high rate over the past few years.

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.

In a previous post, we discussed about understanding how, and if, new educational apps align with your school’s data and student privacy policies. With the overwhelming amount of educational apps currently available and new ones popping up everyday, it can sometimes be difficult to shuffle through them to find those that meet the teacher’s need and also provide the security needed to protect the personal information of the teachers and students using them. With all that in mind, we’ve compiled a list of top ranked educational freemium applications that we came across in the marketplace this year.

Whether you’re a teacher or an IT admin, you’ve probably seen a number of articles and blog posts recapping the best new apps for the classroom released in 2015. Since we speak so often with schools around the country, we’ve heard a lot about all these apps -- good, bad and otherwise. We also realized there’s something far more important to convey to you as you look for potential apps to use in the classroom.

In the midst of 21st century teaching methodologies, Dustin Hardin, Director of Technology for New Caney Independent School District, sought to implement digitized learning and ongoing student-teacher engagement for a Texas school district that didn’t even have a wireless network.

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.