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Quilt and Internet2 InCommon Pilot Program Reveals Insights for Scaling Identity Services to K12 Communities

Posted on Feb 23, 2016 by Elizabeth Boten
Tags: Frontpage News, InCommon

Internet2 and The Quilt InCommon K14 Identity Federation Pilot Program, led across the country by ten organizations, revealed insights for scaling identity services to K12 communities. The pilot programs were conducted by state research and education networks and state-base agencies for the purposes of learning about and enabling K12 access to federated services.
The participants found that K12 organizations and community colleges can benefit from simplified access to shared online services, but often lack the resources to implement the federated identity solutions that have proven successful in higher education. The pilots also revealed that collaborations and coordination across states and regions can enhance efforts to enable more efficient access to shared online services in the K14 arena. The research was detailed in a recent whitepaper.
Participating in an identity federation such as Internet2’s InCommon Federation has significant benefits for educational institutions, providing a common framework for trusted shared management of access to online resources. Reducing staff and service integration costs, increasing security, and enabling students ease of access are just a few of the long-term benefits that the pilot participants saw as helping to serve K12.
To conduct the pilots, Internet2 provided education, technology guidance, and connections to industry partners and collaborated with regional networks to engage their members on federation and provide guidance for the specific pilots.
“Each of the pilots developed and shared their plans for proving a targeted approach to K14 federation and were successful in achieving their initial goals and objectives. Several of the pilots worked with industry partners in forming their plans and providing identity services to their constituents,” said George Laskaris, President and CEO of the New Jersey’s Research and Education Network (NJEDGE.Net), Quilt Board of Directors member, Internet2/Quilt InCommon pilots leader, 2013-2015. “We were pleased with the results of the collaborative efforts and are eager to see the work move forward.”
“Scaling the InCommon Federation to serve K14 is a significant challenge. The regionals in the pilot have been instrumental in working with us to identify tools and business approaches to do this and collaborate on subsequent activities to address it. We thank the organizations who took part in this work, it is truly exciting to bring the benefits of InCommon to more students and educators across the country," said Kevin M. Morooney, Internet2, vice president, trust & identity programs.
The pilots, which began in February, 2013, were conducted by:
* Illinois: NCSA and IlliniCloud
* North Carolina: MCNC
* Maryland: MDREN
* Michigan: Merit
* Nebraska: ESUCC
* Ohio: OARnet
* Utah: UETN; and
* Wisconsin - WiscNet
Access additional information about each pilot program and its results.
Attend an upcoming webinar detailing pilot program results.
About Internet2

Internet2 is a member-owned advanced technology community founded by the nation’s leading higher education institutions in 1996. Internet2 provides a collaborative environment for U.S. research and education organizations to solve common technology challenges, and to develop innovative solutions in support of their educational, research and community service missions.
Internet2 also operates the nation’s largest and fastest, coast-to-coast research and education network, with Internet2 Network Operations Center powered by Indiana University. Internet2 serves more than 90,000 community anchor institutions, 305 U.S. universities, 70 government agencies, 42 regional and state education networks, 84 leading corporations working with our community and more than 65 national research and education networking partners representing more than 100 countries.

Internet2 offices are located in Ann Arbor, MI; Denver, CO; Emeryville, CA; Washington, DC; and West Hartford, CT. For more information, visit or follow @Internet2 on Twitter.

About The Quilt

The Quilt is the national coalition of advanced non-profit regional networks for research and education, representing 36 networks across the country. Participants in The Quilt provide advanced network services and applications to more than 250 universities and thousands of other educational institutions throughout the United States.