The idea of a single sign on to access the many digital tools we currently utilize in VUSD sounds amazing. We are part way there now, but there is still room for improvement. Being a GAFE district, it is nice that both students and teachers have a single sign on to access all of the Google tools we use most often. That is a huge help, as my students, colleagues, and I work most often within the various Google applications in creating work products, collaborating, and communicating. Where there is room for improvement is in all of the other applications we use as well. For the adults in the district, there is still another log in required to access our SIS, Aeries, and every other application ranging from LMS to various curriculum applications or web 2.0 tools; all require separate log in. As an adult, I seem to manage my various log ins well, although it is sometimes frustrating to have several tabs open as I work on a project, and inevitably get logged out of an application because I have timed out- which means logging in again and asking myself, "Ok- which account was that?" Of course I deal with that because I have to, and it doesn't impact me or my productivity profoundly.
What is a big deal though, is the classroom management and student achievement issues that arise as teachers try to manage the many student log ins required to use curriculum applications and web 2.0 tools. A teacher will inevitably have two or three students in a class that have trouble logging in, which slows down the learning for the entire class if a plan for management is not in place. I have read about many emerging solution services that will create a single sign-on for use of many popular educational applications. That sounds like it could be very helpful, and a viable solution, although it could be limiting if the solution service doesn't allow sign on to all of the applications desirable.
One drawback to a single sign-on approach is that of security. If a user's log-in information is compromised or hacked in some way, it puts many accounts in jeopardy all at once. That could be problematic for sure, which is why people always advise that you don't use the same password for all accounts.
With the amount of applications and tools out there, and more amazing tools being developed everyday, there may not be a comprehensive easy solution yet. In my opinion, single sign-on for education has more pros than cons in terms of productivity, classroom management, and student learning.
A funny video that many of us have seen before, but is appropriate here: