Alachua County Public Schools Deploys GG4L School Passport and Compass

The Alachua County Public Schools located in Gainesville, Florida serves about 29,000 students in 41 schools and centers. It is among the top performing school districts in Florida.

The Challenge

Alachua County was looking for an enterprise Single Sign On (SSO) solution to manage application deployment and access to their 41 locations district wide. They wanted a solution that would protect the privacy of their students and staff while verifying identity and reducing the costs to deploy new applications.

The Solution

Alachua County Public Schools chose the Global Grid for Learning (GG4L) Enterprise Passport to manage access to K-12 educational applications for students and staff. GG4L School Passport provides users with Single Sign On (SSO) access to a wide variety of educational resources and content.  These applications are accessed using a number of supported Internet browsers.  Users are granted access to the Passport Launchpad by providing credentials that are authenticated outside Passport, by Active Directory, Google Classroom, and others.  The Passport Launchpad then presents the user with icons that connect to the resources to which he or she is allowed access, based on role, group membership, and location.

The word “Connector” is an important term in this discussion, as the icons that provide access to resources and content do more than just link to these applications.  They “connect” into the application through an available number of industry standard interfaces and pass user login credentials to the target application, thus eliminating a secondary sign on.

The Results                                                       

With over 22,000 active users during the 2018-19 school year, it is easy to see that the acceptance of Passport has been widespread in Alachua County.  Jeannie Fox, Alachua County’s IT system support analyst said, “The broad use of educational technology in our classrooms would not be possible without the help from School Passport.”

Of course, tracking and using digital content and resources is a must in order to insure that the school system is getting value from its investment in educational technology.  Along with Passport comes an analytics dashboard that allows key staff members to look into the “who, what, where and when” of SSO access from browser based applications. 

With the nearly 1.5 million times that these digital content and resources were used in the 2018-19 school year, having the ability to drill into this usage from a variety of perspectives becomes increasingly critical.  This dashboard allows the user analyze a very broad or specific data report. It can be filtered by a variety of combinations of options including school(s), application(s), date range and time of day.

“The GG4L dashboard allows us to gauge the level of usage for each application by location over differing periods of time. This provides relevant data for decision making as we consider purchasing and renewal of online resources,” added Jeannie Fox.

Learn more about GG4L’s School Passport.

School Passport Offered Free To GG4L Members Worldwide

GG4L Announces Availability of School Passport, an Enterprise-Grade Single Sign-On and Identity Management Platform, Sponsored Free to all Members

Today the Global Grid for Learning (GG4L), a Public Benefit Corporation, announced that it plans to release School Passport as a free add-on to GG4L Connect. GG4L Connect is an open standards based school data governance, integration and interoperability platform that is specifically designed for educational institutions. GG4L leverages corporate sponsorships and philanthropic funding programs to offer a free membership based program and associated benefits, including unlimited access to GG4L Connect, to any school globally.

School Passport helps school districts securely and cost-effectively distribute third-party EdTech applications and content to students and staff using an enterprise-grade, standards-based Single Sign-On (SSO), Identity Management (IDM) and Identity Federation services. Schools choose from hundreds of applications listed in the GG4L Catalyst Catalog. School Passport seamlessly works with any school’s or district’s LMS, SIS, third-party applications and devices. 

The cost of School Passport is subsidized through Corporate Sponsorships. Working together, sponsors, districts, application vendors and GG4L bring the power and security of world-class, standards-based SSO and IDM to school students and staff worldwide. 

All EdTech Vendors are welcome to publish their applications and content in the GG4L Catalyst Catalog at no cost. GG4L membership is encouraged but not required to be listed in the catalog.  School Passport integrates with both Microsoft Office 365 and Google G-Suite in addition to hundreds of third-party applications and connectors.

Corporate sponsorships are available through GG4L, with an average sponsorship cost of $1,000 per school site per year for support of an unlimited number of applications within School Passport. GG4L welcomes schools and districts to bring their own sponsors. While it continues to recruit corporate sponsors, GG4L will sustain the free cost of the service to its current 7,500 on-boarded school members, and all new on-boarded members before December 31, 2019.

“We are very eager to deliver on our mission as a B-Corp through various innovative technological offerings combined with sustainable business models and impact initiatives that are purpose-built for schools,” said Robert Iskander, Founder and CEO of GG4L. “Our goal is to lower the schools’ IT management overhead, subsidize recurring software licensing costs, and eliminate the data interoperability taxes incurred by schools and their EdTech vendors through new and disruptive business models!”

School Passport will be released by August 1, 2019. Schools and school districts are encouraged to apply for a free GG4L Membership through the GG4L website (www.GG4L.com/pledge-now/).