Office 365, Google Apps for Education & AirHead may keep you cool under pressure

passwordFor many people, logging in to multiple web based services is a real pain in the backside.  In schools, when you add in the pressured pace of life and dynamic nature of the environment, the pain can really stack up.

It’d be very cool to just have one log in that spoke to every other system as access was needed aka a ‘single sign-on’.  But as Uncle Ben said to Peter Parker in Spiderman, “with great power comes great responsibility.”   Logging out of systems suddenly becomes very important.

How could Office 365 or Google Apps for Education help life in school?

Lots of schools now choose to adopt one or the other platform (& sometimes bits of each) because it means they’re in a good position to get one step closer to the dream of single sign-on.  One unique username (often an email address) and password will not only get each person into Office 365/Google but even better is that they can use these same credentials to log in to other systems too.

Take Blippit as an example

Schools using Office 365 or Google Apps for Education can now use their school details to log in and get busy making apps, code projects and so on.  We make a simple change on the school’s Blippit account and then that’s it.  There’s no more extra account creation, management or delayed lesson starts while someone sorts out their password.  Any password changes that happen are triggered through Office 365 or Google and when this happens it doesn’t affect any other system, including Blippit.

If your school uses Blippit IO and wants to reduce the number of tech admin jobs for colleagues as well as the number of usernames and passwords children/teachers have to remember then visit these two ‘how to’ articles for Office 365 or Google Apps.  Start saving time, energy & blood vessels today.

AirHead

Blippit IO is also available on AirHead which, when you first have a go with the free version, allows you to enter your Blippit IO username & password then securely remember it for wherever you are and whichever computer you’re using.  It’s a superb way to begin to experience the convenience of simplified sign on.  Dig deeper and you’ll also find that AirHead can offer your school a different way of making children’s and teacher’s lives a lot easier because it also integrates with Office 365 and Google Apps for Education among other things.

  • Find out more about having AirHead in your school

Log in to Blippit with AirHead

Well this month and next we’re super focused upon integrations to help schools log in and get started with even greater ease.  By that we typically mean we’re saving your time and effort in remembering usernames and passwords.

AirHead have a very nice system with their web based launchpads.  Essentially your desktop follows you wherever you go in the browser, you choose what’s in it and CRITICALLY you can add your username and password once so that AirHead can remember it for you.

  • Get a free account for yourself today on AirHead.io to see what it’s all about – we think you’ll like it.

NEXT: News of two more major integrations

Systems that simplify: Airhead, GroupCall IDaas, Google Edu, Microsoft Azure & RM Unify

One log-in is enough for most people – it’s certainly enough in schools when your brain is spinning and creaking with a million other things.  On the market just now are a growing number of technical solutions that are designed help you and the children sign in only once (or thereabouts) and get access to all your stuff from anywhere.

social log in
You’ll have seen how with some sites you can log in using your details from Twitter, Google, Facebook.  It’s pretty clever and it makes life simpler in the non-school world.  Unfortunately it’s less straightforward, or rather there’s more to consider, to enable this sort of authentication in schools.  Google has an impressive solution to this mentioned later in this post.   On a practical note,  having a log in option for younger users via social media is contra to the policies of pretty much all providers.

With the dream is always to make life simpler for users (while simultaneously keeping things fully usable, secure & customisable) here’s a whistle-stop tour of some available and proven systems that are here to lower technical friction and free up your brain space for learning.  They’re in no particular order other than alphabetical.


 

airhead

AirHead caught our eye at BETT 2016 as a very nicely done and deeply integrated web based desktop.  Your apps follow you whatever device you’re on and there’s some clever stuff under the hood that allows children and teachers to greatly reduce the number of times they have to log in to different systems.  If you want to bring in behaviour, attendance and all that gritty stuff you can do that too with all the big MIS systems listed here.

 

Google Apps for Education

Google has taken simplification to heart and wrapped some of the most powerful web based productivity tools around it you’re likely to see.   Want children to work/write/draw/survey or whatever together online in real time?  This will tick those needs off very nicely and wherever you or your children are working it won’t matter.  Well worth exploring if you’ve not already done so as us the Chromebook – a technology of which we’re huge fans hence the Chrome Extension we built of Blippit IO.

 

IDaas

If you like the tech, then one of the smartest fish under the waterline is GroupCall’s IDaaS (Identity Management for Education).  It’s a bit like the magic golden thread that ultimately lets you zip seamlessly and share data securely between systems.  Purely for education it has to be a good thing.  It does more but check them out for more info on their website.

 

Microsoft Azure

Microsoft Azure may be starting to appear on your peripheral vision if you’re not directly involved in tech at school.  Your network support experts will be well aware of it.  One among the many things Azure does is to integrate lots of tools and services that are commonly used across your organisation such as email, where you keep your files and securely manage single login to multiple systems. Microsoft is operating a more open shop these days and MS non-fans may want to check out what is now being catered for under Azure.  Chat to Virtue Technologies in Skelmersdale – they know Azure well.

 

RM Unify

RM Unify is a single sign-on method that curriculum tools such as Blippit allow teachers and children to gain access with.  School users log in to RM Unify just once.  If user details are updated at school level this is synchronised automatically across all other systems including Blippit if necessary.  No more “I’ve forgotten my password!” & plenty of customisation at a local level so schools can point to bought and free stuff at will.  It’s also a shop window so if you’re using RM’s MIS you can try, buy and deploy from the browser very easily.


Going back in time…

Protopage

In 2005, yes that’s 11 years ago, I came across and played with a web based information dashboard/desktop product called ProtoPage.  It’s not so much for schools but the whole web based customisable desktop ‘thing’ is right there and has been for the last 11 years. Worth a play if only to fix in your mind, should it need fixing, what a powerful thing having web based desktop can be.