As school districts increasingly deploy digital learning tools and resources, complications and problems can arise, such as password fatigue and lost instruction time due to troubleshooting and security issues.
This web seminar featured the chief technology officers of Franklin Pierce Schools in Tacoma, Washington, and La CaÁ±ada Unified School District in La CaÁ±ada, California, who discussed how establishing a robust single sign-on analytics and rostering platform can result in a more secure and efficient learning environment.
Vice President of Educational Success
Chief Technology Officer
La CaÁ±ada Unified School District (California)
Chief Technology Officer
Franklin Pierce Schools (Washington)
Kate Anastario: Both of you are ending your second full year with ClassLink. Jamie, tell me a little about what was happening in your district with digital resources a few years back.
Jamie Lewsadder: With the Common Core state standards, we were piloting a lot of textbooks and looking at resources for our teachers. We were open-minded to everything. We saw a large increase in high-quality digital resources that were becoming available, and we were invested in adopting those resources. We also had a lot of legacy systems. But the management of those systems became too much to handle as we were going through 1-to-1 adoption.
Kate Anastario: Liza, you came to us with a very specific vision. What was going on in your environment that made you come to that vision?
Liza Klumpar: Security issues prompted it. Teachers were using sticky notes on their laptops so they could remember all the different passwords they established. It was a nightmare. You can only imagine the instruction time that’s been taken away from these teachers and their students. Decentralizing all the programs, the websites, the resources—that’s a headache. So putting all of that into one portal was important.
Kate Anastario: Now, ClassLink is your portal. What pieces were most important?
Liza Klumpar: The ease of use and program access for students were the selling points for us. When we started the single sign-on with ClassLink, I wanted my teachers and my students to have access to those files outside of our district network. It’s such a big part of productivity.
Kate Anastario: Jamie, what were some things that you valued when you were looking at single sign-on?
Jamie Lewsadder: There were two different things. We wanted IT to have something that was easy to use, that was robust and that would solve the challenges we were having with accounts, with time and with password login. On the instruction side, we wanted to make sure that the look and feel—the user experience—was powerful and drew in students.
Kate Anastario: Tell me a little about your present environment.
Jamie Lewsadder: I personally went into classrooms and launched ClassLink with our elementary students and got them excited about it. We had a roadshow. We went into every elementary classroom in the span of three weeks, with some help from the tech teachers. That got it rolling. Then, we got the teachers on board. And now, we have to do roadshows only occasionally with new students.
We’ve started to remove links from our website that go to the systems outside of ClassLink because we want to make sure we’re tracking that data. We’re seeing good numbers, which is exciting. We’ve made it a top priority that students and faculty know exactly how to get to their apps. They know how to log on and start their school day, and it’s been positive.
Kate Anastario: Let’s switch to you, Liza. How’s it going? What’s changed?
Liza Klumpar: So far, we have about 136 apps in ClassLink, and that number is growing. We’ve also implemented QuickCards for K-2. Teachers love it and just want more. Next, we want to make sure that we deploy apps by grade level, so our teachers don’t have to hunt for apps. On the IT side, the ease of use has been tremendous—less of a burden for them in terms of supporting the apps.
What I love about the ClassLink team is the commitment to K-12 and the passion for helping students. The relationship with their clients is truly an amazing, amazing thing. ClassLink’s team is just the best. What can I say? I fell in love.
To watch this web seminar in its entirety, please visit DAmag.me/ws042419