Large-scale student management in an ArcGIS Online organization subscription can be challenging. The Esri Schools Team recommends becoming familiar with best practices as outlined in this PDF.
Single sign-on (SSO) can reduce the liabilities of teachers managing student accounts and allow teachers to focus on teaching with GIS. Moreover, SSO gives everyone in the school or district access to the software (see article)!
When planning for ArcGIS Online via SSO, school districts should gather the following people: district SIS administrator, district IdP administrator, edtech coordinator, and interested curriculum coordinators.
Google G Suite Single Sign-On
One solution to working through this barrier is the use of enterprise logins (SSO) systems already available in education, like Google’s G Suite.
Microsoft Active Directory and others
Review the six other SAML-based IdPs that Esri supports, including ADFS 2.0+.
Currently, Esri does not support Clever.com connections "out of the box". We are exploring options that would allow districts to use the "Saved Passwords" mechanism in Clever to create an SSO experience.
RapidIdentity supports SAML. Follow this guide to learn more about configuring your SSO connection to ArcGIS Online.
The SSO landscape in schools today
At the time of this document's last update, we know of U.S. schools using the following SSO IdPs with ArcGIS Online: Google G Suite, Microsoft Active Directory, and RapidIdentity.
Scripting and tools like the Geo Jobe Admin Tools can be powerful additions to toolkits of administrators managing large ArcGIS Online organizations. See:
Well now, I am not sure how to start this process. Do I work with my district tech support for student sign-on? Usually with students in the classroom I can access their machines. But teaching online, I'm not so sure. We are a 1:1 iPad district. We also currently use digital text resources that students sign on through their district web page. I just need to know what I have to do to align ArcGIS online this way.
Hi Kane. You'll need to reach out to your district's IT staff. Tell them you would like to request ArcGIS Online be connected to student SSO. Provide this URL to them: http://esriurl.com/K12SSO. At some point, they will need at least one admin account in the organization to "wire everything together". Feel free to email firstname.lastname@example.org for more info - and thanks for your inquiry!