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.

INSTRUCTIONS: Enter your responses to the questions below. This is most easily done by moving your cursor to the end of the last item and pressing RETURN to create a new bullet point. Please include URLs whenever you can (full URLs will automatically be turned into hyperlinks; please type them out rather than using the linking tools in the toolbar).

Please "sign" your contributions by marking with the code of 4 tildes (~) in a row so that we can follow up with you if we need additional information or leads to examples- this produces a signature when the page is updated, like this: - alan alan Jan 25, 2011

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

  • It seems as though the utility of a digital identity is inextricably tied to other technologies such as the Personal Learning Environment not in a way that one requires the other, but in a way that one enhances the other. I have found that this is the case with quite a few of the technologies listed here. - jeanne.century jeanne.century Feb 21, 2011
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(2) What themes are missing from the above description that you think are important?

  • Digital identity is not the same as 'digital footprint' or 'single sign on' authentication to networks and sites. Some educators would not understand the differences, so more explanation should be included. - judy.oconnell judy.oconnell Feb 26, 2011 Agree, but both teachers and students need to better understand the digital exhaust they leave as they use the web. Again, a digital literacy that needs to be taught and taught early. - bwatwood bwatwood Feb 27, 2011
  • Where does this digital identity authentication of google and facebook sit with OPenID initiatives? - judy.oconnell judy.oconnell Feb 26, 2011
  • Having this is great, but it also increases the potential for abuse, what with identity theft and so on. As such, this and other similar technology will need to come with an assessment of potential privacy dangers to the user/learner. - horncheah horncheah Feb 26, 2011

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

  • Understanding the flexibility in digital identity systems is important. When working in learning and creative environments its too easy to accept identity transactions between applications, without understanding the need to keep up-to-date on privacy issues such as those constantly being challenged by Facebook. http://edudemic.com/2011/01/every-teachers-must-have-guide-to-facebook/ - judy.oconnell judy.oconnell Feb 26, 2011
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(4) Do you have or know of a project working in this area?

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Please share information about related projects in our Horizon K-12 Project form.