Bloomington Illinois School District 87 is one of approximately 870 districts in the Illinois Public School System. They were faced with the growing use of technology in the classroom as part of curriculum growth in education, managing legacy systems across the District, technology that was built around specific needs of individual schools, departmentalized technology, data privacy / security concerns, and in general what was referred to as application sprawl, the growth of applications popping up in the classroom.
Applications continue to be discovered and emerge as part of the evolution of learning, yet pose difficulty in managing through the technology department and the associated personnel costs. The technologies put a great amount of onus on the individual teachers to keep up with ensuring student roster accuracy, providing State reporting data, and user credentials taking away from valuable classroom time. Each piece of technology had a variety of terms of service and ranged from what may have begun as free resources “free like a puppy” transforming to unplanned paid resources. Given rapid sprawl of application, the District’s technology team did not have a complete picture of what technology existed per school or per classroom. The potential for student personally identifiable information to be utilized for non-educational purposes increased and the District’s legal department could not keep up with constant changes within the terms of service nor could they ensure they were being governed.
The District was forced to create unique, creative nomenclature for usernames and passwords requiring students and teachers to manage several accounts. Eventually, a committee had to be created to monitor the adoption of technology in the classroom called the Technology Curriculum Review Committee in order to avoid curriculum decisions being made by technology administrators and yet provide governance for teachers to make decisions without risking the security of students’ identity. In general, the adoption of technology in the classroom had become the Wild, Wild West. The District required a solution that would:
- Provide Single Sign-On capability
- Provide Identity and data services for an integrated classroom experience
- Maintain the primary concern that student data must be protected and stay within the walls of K12 and only allow access to the data from content providers for strictly educational purposes
- Allow for the adoption of technology in the classroom, while ensuring the privacy and security of student data
- Provide a central location where all applications from all providers are accessed using Single Sign-On
- Allow teachers to not have to focus on the technology, but focus classroom time on student outcomes
- Provide a central place for new learning material to be located, evaluated and added to curriculum
- Provide for controlled personnel cost with the technology team
AEGIS IDENTITY’S EDUZONE SOLUTION
We began by working with the District on their needs assessment and the current situation in order to determine the best possible approach. We worked with the District collaboratively with a co-development approach sharing technology and a shared vision. The plan was to pilot the system with District 87 and roll it out across all Illinois Public Schools.
Utilizing open source software, standards-based solutions and our knowledge of Identity and Access Management, the EduZone solution was configured to their specific needs and deployed. The program revealed that data continuity was but one part of the issue, it also revealed the need for enhanced processes. In creating unique personas for students, parents, teachers, superintendents, technology leaders and application providers identity and access management became truly viable.
Providing a central location for all applications to reside regardless of whether they were District applications or single classroom applications provided both visibility and management capabilities to allow teachers to focus their time on student outcomes as opposed to dealing with technology. Application / Content providers now have an easy way to provide their tools to the District and teachers ensuring the proper control of student data. EduZone allows for approved sharing of student data with providers, but does not allow the data to retain within those systems thus closing the loop. Parents are now able to access all of their student’s needed information and tools with a single password. Review of terms of service and potential costs can be easily addressed and all constituents have the added benefit of knowing exactly who has access to student data and how it is being used.
- Identity and data remain in the control of the district and only accessible for approved educational objectives
- Single Sign-On Capability for all applications
- Low barrier to adoption. The districts can participate without changing their business processes or implementing custom software to participate
- The EduZone Marketplace offers visibility to the District and teachers of learning materials that can be easily adopted
- Teachers no longer have to spend classroom time on student login or managing access rights and can spend more of their time on student outcomes
- District Technology teams are now not overtasked with these issues, clearly aware of what applications are being utilized, the terms of service of these applications, the cost of these applications and what levels of student data access is required
- Overall Identity and Access Management for all constituents
- The security of not only the student data, but of knowing exactly what is happening with the data and who has approved accessJim Peterson
Bloomington Illinois School District 87
ABOUT EDUZONE AND AEGIS IDENTITY SOFTWARE
Aegis Identity Software, the leading provider for Identity and Access Management, has created a unique educational community platform that enables student achievement and teacher effectiveness while creating a place for educators to discover and access educational resources provided by the market to meet their instructional needs. The online presence of these members and district partners represent the Digital Citizens that make up the Educational Community today and into the future. EduZone Education Community Platform is composed of 4 core components providing Single Sign On (SSO), Identity & Access Management (IAM), marketplace for discovery and enabling of education resources, and rapid application deployment for teachers, students, administrators, parents, and the public.