Educational passport enhances access to digital platforms

Friday, 20 October, 2023

Educational passport enhances access to digital platforms

A partnership with Insync Solutions and Okta will deliver faster access to SA Department for Education applications.

The department is using Okta Workforce Identity Cloud to power its educational passport, known as EdPass. Okta Workforce Identity Cloud is designed to reduce the time teachers, students and staff spend accessing the networks, services and applications required for teaching and learning.

All Department for Education employees — including the chief executive, corporate services teams, teachers, principals and preschool directors — access digital resources using single sign-on enabled by Okta’s identity platform.

The Department for Education engaged systems integrator Insync Solutions to deliver the EdPass project. Using Okta’s Workforce Identity Cloud, Insync Solutions has delivered a ‘hub and spoke’ system that provides seamless authentication and access to applications for all Department for Education staff and students, regardless of location.

“Prior to EdPass, our teachers had to log in to up to 15 systems and services to deliver the curriculum, and the students’ experience was similar,” said Daniel Hughes, Chief Information Officer at South Australia’s Department for Education.

“The Okta platform is integrated at the school and department level, so that teachers or students can log in once using a single set of credentials and access relevant applications and services.

“Okta has enabled us to reduce the time we spend identifying and resolving identity issues by more than 20%, allowing our service desk team to focus on value-added services. In addition, the toolset is considerably easier to use and navigate than our previous system, enabling us to respond faster and more effectively to site, student or teacher issues.”

Okta Workforce Identity Cloud also helps the Department for Education gain visibility of applications and rationalise their usage by schools and centres across the state.

“Year 8 students across South Australia use at least 35 different maths applications,” Hughes said.

“We are building a centralised portal within Okta to identify applications used for different activities and promote those applications most likely to make a difference to student learning. This will also help us make more systemic deals with application providers.”

Identity-based access with Okta also supports the introduction of fast-moving technologies such as generative AI into the classroom for student use. The Department for Education is developing a generative AI product to help students experiment and use the technology in meaningful ways.

“With Okta, we can implement guard rails and security parameters while accounting for end-user experiences,” Hughes said.

The partnership with Okta and Insync Solutions is key to the department’s mission of providing quality digital technologies to the state’s 900 schools, pre-schools and children’s centres to enable them to deliver better learning results.

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