Edtech webinar october 2021
It is indisputable that we are quickly becoming a digital society, especially when it comes to education. With the adoption of so many helpful apps and software with tons of features, it can be overwhelming for a school and teachers to manage them all. Schools have turned to Learning Management Systems (LMS) to integrate all of these incredible tools including access to your students’ ebooks and digital platforms.
- SSO - Single Sign-On
LTI Integration and why is it important
- CANVAS Integration Example
- Online Bookstore
Read the transcript below:
Ebook Integration and Your LMS
Hello everyone. Thank you for joining us today. My name is Lacey Woolfrey with EdTech Solutions. I am so excited to be joined today by Marc Blair, our curriculum specialist and Liz Pritchard, our director of operations and integration specialist. So, today we are going to be talking about ebook integration, your LMS, talking about things like SIS, API, LTI, lots of great acronyms and initials. And, Liz, I know has been going around for the past year. There's so many great tools and resources that have popped up over the last few years, especially in the past year, but it can get overwhelming and so a lot of schools have turned to, "Let's stick it in the LMS. But then, okay, what do we do from there?" So, that's what we're going to take you through today. And we've got Liz, who's going to be showing some great things.
Before I take it over to Liz, we've got a poll question we'd love to have interaction from you, our participants. Also, we've got the Q and A chat box. So, if you do have questions along the way, please stick them in the chat or the Q and A, and we'll make sure we try and get to them. If we don't answer them on this webinar, we'd love to follow-up with you afterwards and get you the answers that you're looking for.
So our first question for you today is, "Does your school currently use any kind of SSO or single sign-on integration?"
So if you take a moment and just yes or no, if you've got any kind of single sign-on, go on, we'll leave that up for just a moment. All right. We've got answers coming in. I'll give it about five more seconds. Awesome. Thank you everyone. So, it looks like we've got several that are using some sort of single sign-on. So with that, Liz, I'm going to kick it on over to you to talk about some of the single sign-on that we see.
Awesome. Thank you, Lacey. I appreciate that. So, welcome everybody.
What is SSO or Single-Sign-On?
SSO is an amazing thing in our world of educational technology and really making sure that we're streamlining this process as much as possible. So, single sign-on is just the action of an identity provider. So an example might be, at the school, you have a Google username and password for the students. What we can do is actually help you single sign-on into the different platforms, including EdTech with the same credentials that the student uses for their Google account and login.
So we have many ways, many options that a student can SSO into EdTech and SSO out of EdTech into the publisher platforms. Some of those SSOs that we have currently right now are Blackbaud. We have an SSO relationship directly with Blackbaud and Blackbaud's LMS. We have an SSO relationship with Pearson or Savvas EasyBridge, McGraw-Hill ConnectED, TCI. We have Google authentication. We have LDAP that we can integrate with. So, we really have a long list of SSOs that we partner with. And again, this is to make it simple and easy. If the student already has a username and password for Microsoft Office or Google Classroom, that's something that we can actually replicate and have them SSO into EdTech.
What would your school need to do potentially to sign up for an SSO with EdTech?
Again, if you have that Google Classroom, if you have Microsoft Teams, or if you have some sort of email provider, you're already started on that authentication path. So, it's super easy and super simple to get that set up. It looks like we have a question from the audience of whether or not we have an SSO with Canvas and we do. I was actually going to get down on that list here in a minute. So, we do have SSO capabilities directly with Canvas. So, any other questions-
Yeah, this may be a good spot for our next poll Liz, going in since we've got the awesome segue into Canvas now. So, the next poll... Let me get to it. Okay. So, the next poll is... Hopefully, you can see that there. So, How much does your school currently use your LMS?
So, Canvas is a great example of one of the ones that we see more probably than any, but Canvas is awesome. So, "We use it every day. We have one, but we rarely use it. We use it for some things," or "What's an LMS? I haven't gotten that far yet." So, I've got awesome answers coming in here. Give it a few more moments here, about five more seconds. I still see answers coming in. Thanks for all your participation.
So again, you can see a good mix. We've got several using it every day. We've got some that are probably just trying to figure out learning. "Okay, what's an LMS, and how can I use it?" So, awesome results there. Great. Awesome. So then Liz, back to you, start talking about all of those awesome integrations.
What is an LTI integration and why is it important?
So, one of the things we love I'm talking about is our LMS integrations here at EdTech. I'm going to throw another acronym at you, that is technically called an LTI integration. We also have an API integration with Blackbaud's LMS. So, we got some fun stuff with an LTI. So, just throwing it out there. An LTI helps facilitate a deeper integration with a tool, EdTech being the tool and your LMS. This offers more advanced protection so that the school realizes that their students' data isn't just being released into the Netherlands of the internet.
So, this is a secured way for us to integrate and transfer data back and forth together, and we do that through LTI integrations with LMSs across the board. So, some of the examples is just some of the programs that we can have an LTI integration with is Canvas, Schoology, Google Classroom, LMS365, Brightspace, Blackboard, Moodle, Clever, ClassLink, RapidId, PowerSchool, the SIS and the LMS side of it, are all some of the names that we can integrate with you.
Now, we take integration very seriously here. So one of the things that we offer at EdTech is that we will actually walk you through, step by step through this whole process with an integration specialist like myself, who has become an expert in really how to set up all of the LTI configurations within your LMS. In other words, we're not going to leave you alone. We're not asking you to figure it out on your own. We're going to help you walk through that process together.
In fact, I would love to show you all what the relationship looks like. We're going to use Canvas, because you all brought that up anyway, of how that would look from the school's component if you were to partner with EdTech and you use Canvas as your LMS. So, I'm going to have Marc walk us through that really quickly so that he can show you how easy it is.
Example: How to Use Canvas as your integrated LMS
It is very easy. Thank you, Liz, appreciate it. So, what you're seeing right now is just your standard Canvas login. It's obviously an example. You can see the fake email right there. It says example.com. So, we're not going into any kind of school or any kind of security issues. From there, we log to Canvas. You'll see what you normally would see in a typical Canvas dashboard. What we would then do is click on where it says American Literature. Really for students, they're going to click on any of their classes.
Then, you're going to see, second from the bottom, it says Shelfit. And, that is the EdTech app. This would be a great example of an LTI and the integration that EdTech has. It's not simply a link from one to another or not a hyperlink. It is an actual integration that connects the two that are more secure and more integrated. So, you're not just going to a new webpage. There's sharing of information.
If we click on the Shelfit link, what's going to end up happening is we're going to go into the wonderful world of Shelfit. And you'll see, we have books. We have platforms. We have everything. Notice that we didn't have to re-login to anything. We didn't have to click on anything else to log in. It is simply you're logging in onto the Shelf. And from there, you can go to different places. You can see that we have an ebook for books that we have eReaders for, but we also have platforms. And, this is going to be a good example of a single sign-on, where we will click on the Savvas chemistry. It's going to take us over to Savvas EasyBridge. Then from there, we can click on Savvas realize to go directly into the actual platform.
So, you can see with a single sign-on, you start logging in with Canvas. The LTI connection allows Shelfit to talk to Canvas. That's going to talk over to the different platforms that are available. So, it makes it for an easy experience. It's seamless, makes it just wonderful and easier to access. We've worked with so many schools and the number one complaint is just getting access to the right materials at the right time and the SSOs, the LTIs, all of those acronyms that we have listed help us so that your students and teachers get that. Right, Liz?
Oh, exactly. We love the fact that it's a one stop--You have a one stop that you can go, and it's a click and go sort of scenario. For most publishers, it's like that.
What if we don’t have an SSO with a particular platform?
I forgot this portion: If we don't have an SSO with a particular platform, you can still utilize EdTech as we will set up that platform and provide all that information for the student, just go ahead and login directly.
Exactly. So, if we don't have an SSO relationship with a publisher, as you can see here, we create the username and password for the teachers and the students. Then, we provide step-by-step instructions, including the URL for them to access all of that really easily. They have no excuses if they couldn't find where to access that content. Even if we don't have that SSO, we try to simplify that process for the schools as much as possible.
But, that also talks about auto-rostering. So, what you're seeing currently right now on this screen is an example of a non-auto-roster. So if we have a relationship, which we do with McGraw-Hill, where we have now adopted and helped the school set up what they call an SSO, an auto-rostering relationship with that publisher. It just simplifies the process even more.
So. What happens is that EdTech will connect to your student information system, your SIS. We talk at some point in the middle of the night and then, we take that communication, and we take that data, and we upload it automatically. The system does it all, without humans having to interact, into the online classroom environment. An example of that is Pearson, EasyBridge, McGraw-Hill ConnectED, all of those offer auto-rostering capabilities.
And, what this means to the school is, it's as seamless as it possibly can. So, if the student is changed on your end, that night it hits EdTech's system. And then, by the next day, it's changed in the platform with no human contact, actually. So, it's pretty amazing. We got to love technology, got to love it.
EdTech’s Proven Process in 6 Steps
So, the bigger part of this whole situation is that this can seem very overwhelming and please realize that we want to help walk you through this process as much as possible. So really quick, Lacey has pulled up what is called our proven process. When you work with EdTech, you'll hear us talk about the proven process a lot.
It's, as you can see, six simple steps. If you follow this proven process, you will have a successful launch and start to your year. We've proven that time and time again. And, we've done that by these integrations that we're talking about. The SSO, connecting with your SIS, has that identifier so that the students can log in just with their own username and password from Canvas, Schoology, or even if you use Clever.
Currently, right now, those steps include:
- We're going to set up your roster connection.
- Purchase your content or use school-owned content.
- Set up your online classroom environments or your implementation.
- That will populate your student shelves before the start of the school year.
- Then, we're going to send you support and how-tos.
- Ongoing support for the whole school for the continuous year.
Now, what I would like to do is have Marc show you how easy it really can be with our online bookstore model.
EdTech Solutions’ Online Bookstore Model
Yes, let us go. I was waiting for... Our online bookstore model is for schools. So there are a couple different ways of purchasing books and going that way. Schools can get the books or a lot of schools, what they're doing is these online bookstores where parents and students go to a separate place and purchase everything right then and there. What we found from different schools is what they're struggling with is not necessarily the print books because print books can just be shipped over, is selling and rostering of the digital books.
A lot of times what I've seen from schools that we've talked to all the time is that they're essentially just sending parents to publisher websites to purchase the digital version or the online platform separately. The problem that we see and what all those schools are running into if you have that system, is basically you have a bunch of different purchases and somebody has to put them together for that classroom.
Most of the time, it's the teacher, and most of the time they hate it. I have not run into a teacher who says, "I can't wait to set up my classroom in whatever platform is and upload some new CSV file. And also, I need to confirm that they actually purchased the product."
That's one of the things that EdTech does, are we actually get the rosters directly from your system over into our bookstore so that parents and students, they can purchase all their digital and they can purchase all their print all in one place.
And where we take it, basically what Liz was just talking about, is setting up the students, setting up the teachers, setting up the classroom environments. So, your teacher doesn't have to, the administrator doesn't have to, none of that. And so, the purchasing process is way simpler, and it's way easier for parents. Because, I tell you right now from a parent point of view of, I have to buy one book from Savvas, then I need to go over to this platform to purchase something else. Then, I have to go over here and buy an ebook, and then over this one is an option, I can either buy it from Amazon or I can go wherever. It can be multiple purchases just for a single year and heaven forbid they get the wrong book, which we all know they do, especially if they're copying and pasting anything.
So, we try to eliminate all that so that when a student or parent logs in to purchase their books, all they see are the books that are associated with their schedule. They can pay easily and get everything shipped over to them. Part of that, and why it's so simple are those connections, the SSO, the LTI that makes all that possible for it to be just a simple click, click, pay and go.
And, that's how we do our online bookstore. Of course, if you call us up and say, "Hey, can I just buy everything from you?" And, you've set it up. "Absolutely." It doesn't have to be an online bookstore. There are different ways that we can take care of that. I was going to ask you something Liz- I was thinking about it because you talked to schools too-
What is the biggest issue when schools try to do this themselves?
What do you think is the most common issue when schools try to take on single sign-on LTI, API, rostering and trying to do it all themselves with the different publishers. I know my point of view, but I wanted to hear from you because, I know you talk with a lot of the administrators that have done that.
Well, and believe it or not, it's never any one issue. It's usually a combination of multiple things. So, if you're doing it yourself, which there's plenty of schools out there who can, you need to have somebody full-time in your IT department because they're going to have to be in charge of getting all of these integrations that we just spoke about all connected, between your SIS and these different publishers. Then, also their normal IT development work that they're going to do on campus.
The other part of it is or the other pain point is the fact that you also need to have a curriculum expert who can do all the communications directly with the publishers, gathering all this information on their own and coordinate that with the IT people.
What usually happens is that the publishers are amazing companies, but at a certain time of the year, everybody gets very overloaded and very busy. And, it's always the same time. So, what happens is that schools who are doing it on their own, a lot of the times, they either can't get ahold of their rep or they can't get an order processed through or something happens. And, when you multiply that by five to 10 publishers each, that can get a lot on somebody's shoulders.
How does EdTech support and advocate for schools?
So, what a lot of schools will do is purposely will contract with EdTech because we're going to do all of that. We're going to be your school's advocate. We're going to reach out to the publishers on your behalf. We're going to handle all of the customer service issues. Your teachers have questions, your students have questions, now they can come to us. At the school, you have a buffer essentially of, "Okay, you need to reach out to EdTech to have this handled."
The cool thing about a school working with EdTech is the only thing that you have to worry about as an administration is, "This is how EdTech works. Here's their flyer. Here's their phone number, reach out to them, and they'll help you." And, it's a simple one-step click and go. That's really what the experience that we're trying and to make sure that all schools have, but like Marc was mentioning, we have schools who contract with us and work with us in many different ways. So please bring us your scenario, let's talk about it. It hasn't been too much that we say we can't work with.
Some of those examples could be, the fact that you have print that the students purchased, but the school purchases all the digital, or maybe the school purchases everything and has EdTech do the implementation. Another is the retail store that you're seeing currently right now where the student purchases all of the content, and we can determine what's required and what's optional. So, we really have many options and choices for you to pick from.
Hey Liz, we've got some great questions coming in. I want to make sure we get to before we run out of time.
Q & A
One question is, "What about students coming and going and switching classes?"
I know you deal with schedule changes a lot. So with this example, if they said, since their school does the purchase of the books, could they be automatically rostered and added to correct children to PowerSchool and Canvas?
Yes. That is a great question, exactly what we're we're talking about here. Yes. So, depending on the different purchasing model that we were just talking about, whether the school's paying for it or whether the students are paying for it, the experience is pretty seamless once we have those integrations that we're talking about. So, if we're connected to your SIS, what is really awesome is, again, my system's going to talk to your system at night. So, by that morning, the student's account will show the reflection of the schedule change.
Now, if you are in the model where the student pays for the content, the student can either go back onto the store to purchase the new content, if they required. If they require a refund or a return on the existing product, depending on if it has been redeemed or not, they can give us a call and my customer service department will handle that.
Now, if the school's paying for the content, it's super simple and easy because then the student just logs on the next day and the content is already listed onto their Shelf. It might require some additional implementation, but if you're using a publisher that has that auto-rostering relationship, it's uploaded by the next day.
So, really we will help the school determine if you want all auto-rostering and all SSO relationships, we can work with you on the publishers that offer that and really make sure that it's set up, so it as seamless as what I'm indicating.
That is awesome. Liz, another question that I think you'll be good to answer this one, "Can our schools still work with or use Shelfit if we already have a publisher, LMS integration and would Shelfit be able to manage that content as well?"
So, yes. In a number of different ways, can we help with that? The integration itself, we will work with the school. If EdTech can't handle that within the LMS, and we'll work with the school and the publisher to get that connected. But, we're going to be your support system. So, we're your advocate. We're always going to be there to hold your hand through the process to make sure you're not alone, and you're not being forced into something you don't really want.
So, EdTech will definitely help you with those integrations. We can manage the content by either collecting payments from the students on that, making the purchase from the publisher directly for the content that you're requesting. So, we definitely can manage that process and that relationship.
Very good. Well, I want to make sure we've got a few minutes left. We'd like to open it up. If there are any other questions about any of the LMS that you already use or that you've been looking at or any questions, we've got two great experts on with us right now, Liz and Marc, and appreciate all of the insights that you've given us today. But, want to make sure anyone who's joined us today, that we get all your questions answered. Give it just another moment.
While we're waiting for questions, some of the things that Marc and I hear, just from schools in general, is a lot of the times we hear that they just needed a friend. As silly as that might sound, they just needed a friend through the process. So, we love that.
Yep. That's for sure. I know when it, when it gets close to that beginning of school, it's EdTech becomes ‘counselor.’
You know, we're a psychologist. We're problem solvers. If you just want to talk about how you need a break, we're here for you. We got you. We have dog pictures, galore. There you go.
Excellent. Well, we appreciate all of you joining us today. If you had a question, but you didn't get a chance to ask it, please visit us at edtechsolutions.com. We would love to answer any of those questions that you have or if you want to see anything in action, have us take a look and do a consultation on what you're currently doing. We love doing those. We do that every day. So, we know your time is valuable. Again, we appreciate you taking time out to join us today, and we look forward to hopefully seeing you again next month. I hope you have a great rest of your day. Thanks Liz and Marc.
EdTech Solutions leverages education technology to improve learning by making it easy and simple for schools and students to manage and access individualized digital content on any device. EdTech’s cutting-edge approach to schoolwide ebook implementation and our innovative online platform and tools give school administrators and teachers the controls they need while providing students and parents with access to all their content on one easy-to-use platform with a single login, in most cases.
When you work with us, we create a personalized bookstore for your school where students can access and purchase their ebooks and textbooks on Shelfit.com. We also help publishers make their content available digitally to students on our robust multi-publisher ebook reader platform. We strongly believe that knowledge and good education should be available to all, and we are committed to developing and providing the online learning tools and modern services that make it possible.