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Terminology

See Glossary

Introduction

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When it comes to Federated Identity Management (FIM) and K-12 there are many places to begin the conversation.  Since this document is described as a “Roadmap”, one can safely assume that somewhere there are people who want to implement federated access for their school district, for all districts in their state, or nationally, or there wouldn’t be a need for a roadmap.  Higher education has been working on FIM for nearly a decade.  And while participant growth in the InCommon Federation (the US national identity federation for research and higher education) continues to gain momentum - doubling roughly every year, it’s taken a while for institutions to understand the value proposition(s) for implementing federated identity management.  In fairness, the benefits to using FIM have continued to evolve and blossom over the last few years, so as school districts begin to migrate to a growing number of “cloud” applications and resources for instance, finding a simple and secure way to access these “external” services becomes a priority.

Many school districts are already using a mix of locally run, vendor-hosted and Cloud SaaS resources.  Many of these require a separate username and password to be accessed, which results in K-12 teachers and students needing to remember and manage all these accounts.  This may be the biggest value proposition for the end user – “single sign on”.

The following sections capture the Benefits, Challenges, Federation Options, Use Cases, Case Studies and Next Steps for K-12 Federation.  Please feel free to add your own to the list!

Benefits (Value Proposition) for K-12

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