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Primary Technology Ltd

Primary Schools’ Hidden & Broken Online Barriers

Personalised learning needs a smooth transition between various service providers who are
offering learning content and activities. With continual password prompts being a barrier to this
style of learning, and putting off many schools. Single Sign On (SSO) should be one of the
underlying technologies that removes this barrier, yet it is failing to live up to its promise and the
hard work that many people have put into it. This endangers the whole thrust of personalisation
mediated by technology.

Schools have both a want and a need to try to personalise students’ online learning. Since 2006
the majority of schools, districts and local authorities have tried to accomplish this by accessing
web based learning resources using a Single Sign On system called Shibboleth to avoid
remembering and having to enter multiple passwords on multiple web applications. At
Government level this system is called “Federated Access Management (FAM)” but as the scope of
my report covers a specific mechanism I will not be using this term. This system isn’t achieving its
goals, in this report I will try to explain why and how we can go about making Single Sign On a
more natural experience for schools. If I was reading this report I would have given up before now,
thinking “Meh, its someone else’s problem” but really it isn’t. I hope you can take some time to
read on and to find out how we can all work together to solve the problem.

Download the report: PDF, Microsoft Word, Open Document.

See previous revisions of the report: http://john.primarypad.com/ep/pad/view/single-sign-on-writeup/latest

Single Sign on allows us to know exactly which user is connected to PrimaryChat. Why is this important? It is important because with PrimaryChat we need to ensure it is only teachers/pupils that can chat to other teachers/pupils from the same school.

Currently the only Single Sign on system that works at an organizational(school) level is Shibboleth. Shibboleth is usually provided by your Local Authority however if this is not available to you then your school can use PrimaryLogon which is a beta labs service we currently offer.


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