Giving Power Back to the People . . . Well, the Students

The Internet is empowering in many ways. Consumers have more power. Individuals and movements have more power. One thing we don’t have is more privacy. Every time we turn around someone is asking for our data. Where that data goes next is anyone’s guess.

Online identities are so prolific that they can even be stolen. Much more common than identity theft is data mining as our information gets sifted through and all kinds of decisions made about and because of it.

In fact, it’s so common to give out info that sharing personal data is a daily fact of life for many college students. They create one identity after another on Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram and more—choosing what to share, when to share it, and with whom.

Sharing personal data is a daily fact of life on social media.

In her recent edSurge article, Marguerite McNeal explores the rising idea of adopting a similar user-controlled approach to student data—imagine a student having the ability to share (or hide) aspects of his academic profile with instructors or counselors, much like he manages his Facebook profile. McNeal explains,

“The idea is to give students autonomy in how they develop and manage their digital identities at the university and well into their professional lives.”

And it’s more than an esoteric idea. Domain of One’s Own is a project hosted by the University of Mary Washington that “allows UMW students, faculty, and staff to register their own domain name and associate it with a space on a UMW-managed Web server.” The project moves a step beyond the privacy control you have on social media, giving students the ability to create and manage their own domain. Brigham Young University’s Phil Windley suggests that such an approach will “help students understand their personal identity.” Windley is working with BYU to run Domain of One’s Own at BYU and build personal APIs that would “[put] students at the center of their learning experience.”

And that’s what we’ve always wanted of students, right?

Read more of his thoughts on Domain of One’s Own, personal APIs, and sovereign source identity can be found here. And check out actual student domains at Domain of One’s Own.

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What to help out your students even more? Try our article: 10 Top-Paying Skills Your Students Need in 2017. You can read even more awesome content like this by subscribing to our education newsletter, The Yardstick & Apple.



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