The past two days I attended the TIES 2009 Education Technology Conference and co-presented “Successfully Integrating Google Apps in Education” with some of our tech people. The presentation is about Google Apps but it also includes using the Moodle-Googleapps SSO plugin. We had a good turn out as a lot of school districts are either looking into using Google Apps or are having issues implementing it. Below is the description of our session.
Come see how Osseo Area Schools have begun to leverage the power of Google Apps for Education. Participants will learn reasons for using Google Apps, tips for successfully implementing Google Apps, questions you should answer before going forward, and see some examples of how Osseo is using Google Apps for both instruction and improving productivity.
TIES provided each session with a wiki so they could post links and resources from their presentations. Here’s our wiki with a link to the presentation and to our delicious account with links we used while implementing Google Apps. You can also check out other sessions and links to their presentations and resources – there were some great presentations this year!
Recently I’ve been helping out with getting our district’s Moodle-Google SSO fully working. It had been working but we ran into a few issues. I think we have solved our problem…we’ll see tomorrow! I plan to write a complete blog post about our situation and how we were able to get it working which will hopefully help others out there in the same situation. We’re using Ubuntu 8.0.4, Moodle 1.9.1+ and the LDAP Authentication.
We have been trying to integrate Google Apps with Moodle for the past couple of weeks. With a little help from Matt Montagne on creating the keys we were on our way. We installed the blocks successfully and had no errors while setting everything up. We followed the instructions from here and everything seemed to be going okay. After enabling the API setting in Google Apps, we took a step back to see if it worked.
It seemed like the local and LDAP Moodle admins were created (they had “OK” for the Google Apps Sync block status). However, when I tried going into Google Apps it gave me a “This service cannot be accessed because your login credentials are not yet valid. Please log in and try again.”
Most of the LDAP users (students and teachers) were not even created in Google Apps and gave me a “Failed to create Google Apps account” in the Google Apps Sync block. When I run the /blocks/gdata/cron.php it gives me “Starting Moodle to Google Apps synchronization Google Apps error: Google Apps error: The server encountered the following errors processing the request: Error 1402: InvalidPassword Invalid Input: \”\” Google Apps error: Google Apps error:” over and over again.
What is odd is that random users are created in Google Apps and seem to be syncing but they are still not able to get into Google Apps. This has only been a half dozen users and the rest are not being created. The error above tells me it’s a password issue but I am not sure what to change.
We are kind of in a waiting mode right now to see if it just needs time. However, this past weekend Google Apps announced they have created an LDAP plugin. We may have to look into getting LDAP to work that way but we would really like to have the SSO.
Google Apps Education Edition is coming to an open source learning management system near you. Moodlerooms, a Moodle partner, is launching a new enhancement to the open source LMS in collaboration with search giant Google to provide access to the application suite using a single sign-on. [read more]
This really excites me! Our district has been looking into student email possibilities and a way for students to collaborate. Google Apps Education Edition seems to be a top choice for secondary students. This would be an awesome integration for us! In the article, I think this is the most important reason why I like the idea of a Moodle/Google App integration:
“This greatly simplifies the task of implementing a collaborative suite, as well as enables institutions to leverage the work they’ve already done integrating their platforms with their other systems. From a teacher’s perspective, this provides an easy way to assign students to collaborative tasks without having to worry about the students having different operating systems or incompatible software or being unable to access an online system. From an IT staffer or CIO’s perspective, this provides an integration tested with large-scale data loads and built on industry standard SAML 2.0 and OAuth protocols for secure single sign on and information transfer.” [read more]
Easy integration, fewer logins and “places” to go seem to be very important for teachers. If our district does decide to go with Google Apps this is something really look into.