LMS and Google Apps – First Comes Love…

Google LogoGoogle has announced support for seamless integration between Moodle and Google Apps thanks to the work of third-party developer Moodlerooms:

Moodlerooms, a SaaS provider of Moodle, just launched an application built on the Moodle platform that lets school admins bring Moodle and Google Apps together with a single sign-in. So now, students who told us they didn’t want to sign in to multiple environments – like an LMS to get their course content and a productivity suite like Google Apps to actually do their work – have the answer they’ve wanted.

If you’re wondering about how this is technically done, read on:

Moodlerooms used the industry standard SAML 2.0 and OAuth protocols to securely integrate with Moodle, building on open extensibility features of Google Apps Education Edition. Using these extensibility features, any educational software vendor can take a similar approach to provide user directory synchronization, single sign-on, and user data integration with their service.

This is cool and all, but there is a downside, as illustrated by a recent bug Google accidentally introduced into Google Docs that allowed documents in Google Docs to be shared with anyone you’ve ever shared a doc with. The bug only affected .05% of users, but still it illustrates the potential drawbacks and dangers of using a web cloud-based app like Google Docs. Which isn’t to say that Moodle itself is perfect, but you’re increasing you’re exposure by relying on two web-based apps.