What is Digital Identity?

Digital identity management focuses on enabling users to create a single digital identity that can be used in any place where a login is required to access a website or service. It is not a single technology, but a group of related technologies and ideas. In the simplest terms, one’s digital identity is a method that allows recognition any place where a log-in is needed. A variety of different systems are being developed, and though they have the same broad purpose of creating a sign-on system that is convenient and secure for an individual rather than a company or organization, ideas about what precisely defines a user-centric identity system and how that would be implemented are still widely varied. Both Google and Facebook are positioning their systems to be the “home” of one’s digital identity.

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(1) How might this technology be relevant to the educational sector you know best?

  • Don't see this in my top 5 currently, and while the idea is down the road, there are significant benefits for students and schools. Obviously, the need for students to continue developing appropriate social media footprint. Possibilities of the "EDUGoogle" account allowing students access across services would still provide the option for a personal, non-school account. The technology would certainly provide the most comprehensive student portfolio possible. Also, the benefit for migrant populations or students who move frequently would be immense. That alone will more than make it a priority for districts. - digitalroberto digitalroberto Mar 6, 2013
  • Given the large number of schools using Google Apps (more than 35% in the US), I can see that these schools might leverage the ability of Google Apps to support Open ID and OAuth for sign on and limited data excahnge with other web applications. Also the ability to lever more traditional identity services usings a SAML to Social gateway. This would let K12 schools access shared services from other districts, universities and research labs - jim.siegl jim.siegl Mar 6, 2013
  • Given the adoption of Common core by a mojority of state, and online testing I could imagine a state providing a credential/identity - jim.siegl jim.siegl Mar 6, 2013

(2) What themes are missing from the above description that you think are important?

  • Will districts that are reluctant to take on Single Sign-On be willing to go this route instead? I think districts with SSO will lead the transition to digital identity. How can digital identity be tied with Learning Analytics? To me that is a fascinating intersection. If a student is able to carry their data with their digital identity, they could conceivably go to school anywhere at any time and receive personalized, differentiated learning. The positive impact on migrant/transient population would be tremendous. - digitalroberto digitalroberto Mar 6, 2013
  • The idea of the blending of the personal identity and the school identity has huge ramifications even when considering appropriate uses. The blend has positives for ease of access, however, some of the drawbacks to be considered have huge moral and ethical implications.

(3) What do you see as the potential impact of this technology on teaching, learning, or creative expression?

  • Ability for students to carry over project ideas for a few years is terrific. I immediately think of students who become fascinated with a topic and continue to dig into all aspects of it. This would provide a great way to refine understanding over a number of years. The migrant community would benefit with a greater ability to start the first day at a new school with learning items in place. - digitalroberto digitalroberto Mar 6, 2013
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(4) Do you have or know of a project working in this area?

  • The Internet2 K20 working group has been working in this area and is looking to release a call for pilot proposals later this year. - jim.siegl jim.siegl Mar 6, 2013
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