05 March 2009

Edentity: Evolving Meanings

At the CSU ePortfolio Day of Dialogue in San Francisco last week, John Ittelson referenced his use of the term "edentity" in 2001 to introduce the concept of the electronic portfolio that could consolidate a student's academic record and perhaps even a person's lifelong record. Today, the term is used commercially by a handful of web companies to describe various services, most of them tied to web site marketing.

The urbandictionary has defined edentity as one's identity on the Internet and that comes close to the Acxiom company's service of authenticating student identity—relevant to Ittelson's use of the term but much more pertinent to the security question before administrators of online education: how do you know who your student is?

In February, Acxiom partnered with Campus Technology to produce a free webinar on the subject of identity authentication. (An aside by one of the presenters revealed that more than 300 people attended virtually.) The archived webinar can now be downloaded by registering with Campus Technology. Acxiom has also partnered with WCET members to test identification methods, some of which are documented in an Acxiom White Paper. The affordable means of authentication is to pose security questions to students as they work online and this is the thrust of Acxiom's service.

© 2009 Mary Bold, PhD, CFLE. Email contact: bold[AT]marybold.com. The content of this blog or related web sites created by Mary Bold (www.marybold.com, www.boldproductions.com, College Intern Blog) is not under any circumstances to be regarded as legal or professional advice. Bold is the co-author of Reflections: Preparing for your Practicum or Internship, geared to college interns in the child, education, and family fields. She is a consultant and speaker on assessment, distance learning, and technology.

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