EDUCAUSE the Future of Instructional Technology, Identity Management & IT Security

EDUCAUSE the Future of Instructional Technology, Identity Management & IT Security

Ahead of the class.

EDUCAUSE 2013 was no disappointment for the team at Avatier. When it comes to information technology innovation, education is always at the forefront of applied methods, exploration, experimentation and leadership. Although EDUCAUSE is eye opening in terms of its enormity, identity management as it relates to education is no stranger to Avatier.

Today, the critical issues on the horizon for IT departments in other industries already confront higher education staff and administrators. The scream for BYOD is most distinct, because it represents an enormous cost savings to schools. At the same time in many cases, students’ personal equipment is better than the computers, laptops and mobile devices provisioned by schools. Not only are students more technology enabled then their schools, they do not want dual laptops, mobile devices, software and applications. Students want all their data, media, research, curriculum, and work on whatever they own and they want to share it. Although BYOD’s complexity is daunting, cost savings requires it and a better learning experience demands it.

With the influx of new and better mobile equipment, education is also transforming. Online distance learning has opened the door for massive open enrollment for online courses, while encouraging a diversity of pedagogical models, curricula and instructional methods. For this reason, information security and identity management remain an ongoing challenge for schools, colleges and university IT organizations. When you add the information security challenges on top of the instructional technology platforms, educational leaders must ensure identity authentication while mitigating risks to their brand, intellectual property, and students.

Ideally, IT organizations should be able to deploy any learning management system, content management system, courseware and media supported on the Internet and by mobile devices. They also must be able to ensure student identity and privacy. For this reason, online instructional integration in conjunction with identity management becomes a critical paradox for campus IT officials and university CIOs. On one hand, they want their courses available to anyone on any device. On the other hand, they must be able to authenticate everyone every time.

EDUCAUSE 2013 Keynote

In his EDUCAUSE 2013 keynote, Sir Ken Robinson stated:

"The world is shifting on its axis and becoming more connected. We don’t know if the earth can handle this. So the question is, ‘What is the threshold here?’"

As this statement relates to instructional technology, identity management and IT security, I experience a tremendous sense of accomplishment, because the paradox represents a coming of age. The threshold I ponder consists of configurable technologies and systems that rapidly connect people, platforms and learning experiences. They cross languages and international boundaries with a touch. They enable self-service through two factor authentication, authoritative sources, workflow automation, and business rules. They deliver transparent information security and compliance management. They make people better informed and more capable. These solutions are not a futuristic dream. They exist now. And best of all, they come with an educational discount. For this reason, the threshold for education appears nearly limitless.

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Written by Thomas Edgerton

Thomas Edgerton, Avatier's MVP award-winning Market Analyst and Performance Consultant in information technology, IT security, instructional technology and human factors, blogs on topics ranging from leadership to national security, innovation and deconstructing the future.​