“August is when School IT folks download CSV files from one system and upload it to another… all day long.” — Bradley Chambers (@bradleychambers)
The quote above pretty much sums up how most school IT staff members feel at the onset of the new school year. Consider this: We’ve gone from one login as a student or teacher for our computers and email accounts, to dozens of logins for grade books, learning management portal, classroom learning tools, sharing and portfolio platforms. These days, the average student has about 5 logins they must remember. On top of this, most college students also have to manage maintaining a job and social life. Faculty and staff members also have that many, if not more logins and systems to keep up with.
The number of sites and platforms needed to keep us in the loop on everything is staggering—school events, assignments, grades, accounting, social media—and it can quickly become overwhelming. A teacher at a post-secondary school told us, “I admit, I don’t use all the tools at my disposal. In my case, I have about 10 places I need to login to check everything I need to for managing all aspects of my job. It’s very time consuming and overwhelming and causes me to not be as involved as I should be.” This is a truth that is likely echoed by other teachers and college students.
So what is the solution? The answer may not be so cut and dry — and it won’t be the same for everyone and every situation. While there are solutions that make it possible to sync data and sign in using one login—like Clever, Microsoft Azure, or G Suite—that may not simplify enough. It may be worth it to take a look at platforms that work smarter with data and don’t make it harder on the user. The best solution for your school or district might be to find a system that simplifies at its most basic aspect by having a unified database. If your communications, academics, learning management, accounting, discipline, and incident reporting were all in the same place as your data, it may make education technology a lot easier to adopt and integrate into our schools.
What do you think? How do you manage the multitude of logins and platforms you have to access on a daily basis? We’d love to hear from you in the comments section below.