Tools4ever helps students to login quickly and easily with a QR badge
SPOM offers child-oriented, digitally supported education to students in 15 primary schools. Logging in on computers was complicated and time-consuming, so they were looking for an alternative to usernames and passwords.
Tools4ever helps students to login quickly and easily with a QR badge
Tools4ever’s QR code scanning facilitates faster, more secure logins for students on their computer or tablet. Printed on passes, the QR codes replace complicated usernames and passwords to provide easy access to all of a student’s education applications – especially impactful for early grades.
QR scanning is part of HelloID – Tools4ever’s IDaaS solution providing cloud-based Single Sign-On (SSO). To log in, a student holds their QR pass in front of their device’s camera. HelloID scans the code to authenticate the student. The student is then automatically directed to a simple, personal portal displaying all of their applications, which open with a single click or tap. The student immediately begins their work without ever needing their teacher’s help.
The SPOM Foundation - comprised of primary schools across 3 Dutch municipalities - has already seen massive benefits from their recent implementation of this SSO functionality. 2,400 pupils at 15 primary schools now perform one simple action to access their daily schoolwork. Accounting for smiles, ecstatic students and teachers have already delivered their own sort of ROI. The QR codes are a crucial link to making personalized, digitally supported education truly accessible.
“Thanks to HelloID with QR codes, students can now log in to their Chromebook easily, independently and quickly. We saw the use increase immediately after the introduction of the passes. The computers are now used daily and form a natural part of our education. Both pupils and teachers are enthusiastic.”
Tom van de Geijn, IT and Innovation Staff Member at SPOM
Therefore, SPOM regards digital learning resources as a crucial investment in their operations. Tom van de Geijn, IT and Innovation staff member at SPOM, gives an example: “As an incentive for personalized learning within the foundation, schools were encouraged to submit concrete plans for innovation. In return, schools were facilitated with a number of Chromebooks.”
Simply log in with a QR badge
Chromebook utilization was not immediately successful; logging in with a username and password was difficult for younger students. Pascal Witjes, Senior System Administrator: “Teachers or pupils from a higher class could [spend] fifteen minutes at the beginning of the lessons to help all [the] students get started. [We] realized that we needed a solution where you only have to log in once without the user name and password, HelloID turned out to be that solution.” HelloID is an IDaaS solution, including with cloud-based Single Sign-On and Access Management. Users log into HelloID with a username and password by default. Access can be simplified for students and target groups by using QR codes.
SPOM discernably searched for a solution that would meet their needs while aligning with their organization’s existing strategy. A small but efficient IT department of just 1.6 FTE supports all 15 SPOMaffiliated schools. Van de Geijn: “We cannot develop things ourselves, but we want to stay in control ourselves.” He continued: “We want to be able to make a choice for each subject. HelloID fits perfectly. It is a stand-alone access control solution, which we can use to connect new applications with the open interfaces – with a price tag that is realistic for educational institutions.”
SPOM invested a substantial amount of time in providing teachers and students training opportunities to best support the adoption of their new Chromebooks. Witjes explains: “We visited every class once for a short instructional lesson with tips and tricks and the opportunity to ask questions. In addition, we organized workshops for lecturers who were frequently [requiring assistance].” The QR codes proved to be the decisive difference maker during SPOM’s Chromebook rollout. Teachers who were less comfortable providing in-class tech support or simply wary of lesson impediments saw all their concerns allayed. Van de Geijn: “When logging in was still complicated, we saw the ITskilled teachers in the classroom use it. Now that the use of HelloID with the QR badges has become much more accessible, we see that other teachers are also enthusiastic about it. They see many new opportunities [to incorporate] their passion for the education sector.”
By implementing HelloID, SPOM’s schools have achieved a major “win-win scenario” in that they now fully comply with data privacy regulations. Witjes: “In the old situation, pupils worked via group accounts on laptops. With the rollout of HelloID and the QR cards, everyone has an individual account with their own rights. Pupils and employees only have access to the data they need.”
Automation in-, through- and outflow
It is important that HelloID offers more than just the Single Sign-On functionality. The solution also streamlines the work in the back office. Witjes: “It’s not just about giving thousands of students a one-off account and a pass. In education, almost every pupil flows to a subsequent year and every school year [sees], of course, a lot of inflow and outflow. With HelloID, that process is fully automated.”
He continues: “The Tools4ever consultants have ensured that those specific teaching process flows are perfectly configured in the tooling… [Whenever] a new student [is registered] in our ParnasSys student administration and tracking system, an account is automatically created in HelloID. Moreover, the access profile of a pupil is adjusted automatically during the transition to a subsequent year.”
Ready for the future with HelloID
SPOM is already working on follow-up steps with Tools4ever. Van de Geijn explains: “For us, the introduction of HelloID is a starting point from which we can continue to work. We started with Office 365 and gradually linked more educational applications. At SPOM, we see the Chromebook in the classroom as the way to relieve teachers and leave them more time for the individual [mentoring] that is central to our course plan. We often have extra challenges in smaller schools. For example, in a school like the Tweestroom in Altforst, we sometimes combine 3 school years – i.e. 9 different levels of learning - in one class. Only with the aid of personalized and digitally supported learning is this feasible for teachers and that only works if students can work independently and quickly.”
HelloID’s impact at SPOM extends beyond the students’ logins to serve as the employees’ access solution as well. Pascal Witjes: “We [use] HelloID school-wide, for matters such as personnel administration and other applications. For our regular employees, we do not use the QR codes but regular usernames and passwords. We can also activate 2Factor Authentication where necessary. This functionality is built into HelloID by default and can be activated automatically for, for example, login attempts outside the regular working hours or outside the school locations.”
He continues: “For other systems, such as Wi-Fi management, we also want to use HelloID as an access solution. We notice that the configuration of our Wi-Fi network needs to be adjusted regularly due to the growing use of computers. By integrating with HelloID, we can carry out such management actions with a few clicks.” Witjes also wants to further streamline the management of user accounts and passes: “Think, for example, of batch password resets, but also printing passes at school locations directly from HelloID.”
The close collaboration with Tools4ever is important for future planning. Van de Geijn: “With a small IT department, it is important that you have a supplier who thinks with you and can switch quickly. During the process, we were very positively surprised by their fast way of working, the active thinking and their realistic view of things. We knew from the start what we could expect and [everything was] all delivered on time. From the start, there was a click with our organization and our way of working.”
- More than 2400 students use QR code passes to access to their schoolwork daily.
- No need for tricky user names and passwords.
- The whole class logs in within a few seconds.
- Automatic workflow and user profiles support rapid onboarding for new users.
- Other employees and applications now have the access solution they needed.
- 2FA is available, for example, to restrict logins from outside school locations and times.