Generic Use Cases for K-12 Federation
(Licensed, Age-appropriate Web Content)
Licensed video and library services content are being collected in a statewide repository for release to K-20 member institutions. The content provider needs to make certain that students and teachers accessing the content are from educational institutions within the state, and that the content being accessed is appropriate for those accessing it. They also do not want to maintain accounts for every K-20 user in the state.
If there were a statewide federation that included all K-20 institutions, users could access the content service provider and deliver attributes that would indicate that they had: authenticated at their home institution and identify the institution/school, the user affiliation (e.g. student, teacher, parent, etc.) and what grade level (or school type – elementary, middle, high school, HE) so that age-appropriate content could be suggested/delivered to the user.
(Federated access to State-hosted administrative systems)
This use case is for K-12 Teachers and Staff who are required to use state-run systems. Depending on the employee status of teachers and staff, they may have access to many of the same systems used by state Higher Education (HE) institutions and other state employees. If the state creates SAML-based access to systems for Retirement, Benefits, charitable donations, etc. as well as Department of Education applications that are learning-focused, or support teacher Professional Development or provide other resources, employees from K-12 as well as HE and state agencies could access these resources with their local (home institution) credential.
This is a generic use case for accessing any "cloud-based" or otherwise hosted application, usually in a multi-tenant environment. This would include email and other office-type applications (GoogleDocs, Office365, etc.), outsourced payroll systems, SalesForce, Learning Management Systems (LMS), Library Services and other Content Providers, etc. Single Sign-On access through the use of SAML assertions (or other federation credentials) would eliminate many of the accounts K-12 users are currently forced to maintain at each of these resources.
("Early College" joint High School/Community College Programs)
These programs allow High School students to take college courses at a local community college in their Junior and Senior years to finish with a High School Diploma as well as an Associate Degree. Access to the College systems could be provided via a federated login to the local high school Identity Provider (IdP) if the Community College system is running federated applications.
(College Admissions Process)
Current efforts within InCommon are exploring the use of a credential issued to high school students to be used for Federated access to College Entrance Exams sites (SAT, ACT), the "Common App" for applying to many colleges and universities, as well as financial aid sites (FAFSA). This process could be extended to use SAML assertions issued by K-12 schools/districts that belong to a trusted federation for the same purpose.
(Your Use Case Here...)
Specific Use Cases for K-12 Federation
(InBloom - formerly Shared Learning Collaborative - SLC)
InBloom is working on a national data warehouse to provide longitudinal data tracking for K-12 students that would provide a means for tracking student progress and assessments (including the Common Core State Standards implementation in 2014), even when the student moves between states. Much of this data is lost or unavailable to a new school (district) when a student starts at a new location. The InBloom "data warehouse" would hold the student data, and be accessible via federated access using the teachers' and staff's local credentials.
(Your Use Case Here...)