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Alef Education uses Auth0 SSO for connected digital learning

Alef Education uses Auth0 SSO for connected digital learning

Case StudiesCountriesEducationEnterprise SecurityIndustry VerticalsIntelligent TechnologyUAE

The future of education is one where each student can thrive thanks to learning experiences individualised for their needs.

For Alef Education, a UAE-based K-12 education technology company that is changing the way students are educated, its mission is to help get there by customising learning for different types of learners so that everyone gets the level of care they need.

The company uses Artificial Intelligence (AI) to provide personalised learning experiences to students through a trio of online products: the Alef Platform, Abjadiyat and Curio.

Alef Education’s main challenge was connecting over 60,000 students, teachers, and principals on one platform.

Amjad Khan, Director of Technology, Alef Education, said: “We wanted to have an integrated platform for our students and teachers, and to ensure that when they sign in, they only had one single login. That was the key project.”

A custom Single Sign On solution

Alef Education needed a way to seamlessly connect students across its suite of products. “For students, it’s difficult because we don’t want them to memorise a login for their device, then a login for Google Suite, then a login for the Alef Platform, then a login for Curio,” said Khan.

However, Alef Education quickly realised that building their own solution would not be a good use of their resources.

He explained that to do a bespoke single sign on solution, the company would probably have allocated at least two engineers full-time to create custom authentication software.

“There’s no point in building a complete security system if I can buy something off the shelf for a fraction of the price,” he said.

That’s why, Alef Education turned to Auth0 to facilitate secure Single Sign On (SSO) to all of the company’s platforms, connecting all its users in a data-driven e-learning environment.

The company said it was not easy finding the right authentication software and it had to be very thorough with its selection process. The company wanted a solution that could handle enterprise-scale security concerns, scale quickly and also had all the bells and whistles that could help them stay ahead of security issues.

“We looked at everything and Auth0 came on top in terms of the features it could give us within our two to three-month time frame. Alef Education was able to implement Auth0 as its SSO solution across all platforms in a couple of months. Having something like Auth0 here allows us to expedite and minimise the amount of time it takes to set up a new integration. It just takes a matter of hours,” Khan added.

He pointed that Auth0 was a faster solution than other providers for new integrations. “I was told 15 days from a different provider installation, but with Auth0 it took a day. That’s it, no more than a day. This allowed Alef Education to concentrate on product development, explained Khan, adding that the focus should be on education.

Zaid Al Majdoub, Group Head of MOE Subjects, Aldar Education, said:

“The Alef Platform by Alef Education is one of the leading education platforms. It plays a significant role in teaching the Ministry of Education (MOE) subjects in international schools, where the content covers all the objectives of the MOE curriculum.”

Al Majdoub said to support the comprehension of the curriculum, differentiated activities are designed for all grade levels and the content is interactive and motivating for all students, with a variety of activities that have accurate and distinguished technical designs.

“The Alef Platform had a great influence in supporting our students in our schools during the remote teaching period and facilitated the teaching process by watering down the material for the students on one hand and helping the teachers to track and follow up on their students’ work on the other hand,” he said.

According to Al Majdoub, the Alef SSO platform has also had a significant role in supporting the Arabic language and elevates the students’ level in Arabic.

With 228 schools (comprising 151 public and 77 private) using Alef Education’s AI-powered digital education platform, the education provider plans to rapidly scale its offerings to ministries of education and private school operators across the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), with the GCC countries the primary focus.

In a post-COVID-19 world, Alef Education believes that the rapid rise of digital will also open up new markets and territories in the sphere of e-learning.

“We are saddened by the pandemic and the catastrophic impact it has had globally, but we are excited about the importance countries, ministries and school districts will place on adopting a digital-first strategy for the education sector across the MENA region,” Khan said.

The added benefit of strong security

For a company dealing with user passwords and personal information, security was is a prime focus.

Khan explained that Alef Education prides itself in having a secure platform that comes with enterprise-level products.

Alef Education uses Auth0 Logs to monitor authentications performed by its users and identify suspicious activity.

“We are able to see abnormalities in user authentication by using the logs from Auth0. This allows me and my team to gain the trust of students and teachers alike, connecting multiple e-learning tools in a single platform while protecting user data,” he said.

Moving forward, Alef Education has plans to continue growing with Auth0 and the vast authentication solutions it has in its stable.

“We know Auth0 can scale. We know it can scale up to millions of users if needed, but it also has a huge amount of features and services which we have yet to utilise, everything from multi-factor authentication to being able to detect breaches,” he said.

He explained that the company aims to use Auth0 to integrate more e-learning tools. “The more platforms that we add, the more we want to make sure that, for our users, we minimise the amount of complexity to just have one single username and password. Auth0 is helping us develop our educational ecosystem. Instead of worrying about security, Alef Education can focus on transforming the education sector.

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