Sunday, February 10, 2008

tt4t_024 Open ID – Picking up speed

It’s Sunday, February 10, 2008 and welcome to Episode 24 of Tech Talk 4 Teachers, I’m Tom Grissom. The OpenID initiative picked up a few important endorsements this week as IBM, Microsoft, Verisign, Google, and Yahoo have agreed to participate as the first corporate board members of the OpenID Foundation. This is good news for the OpenID movement as more than 10,000 websites now support the OpenID initiative.

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As stated before on TechTalk4Teachers one big barrier of using services of Web 2.0 companies is the problem that users have of managing multiple userids and passwords. Everytime you visit a website you must create a new account that is unique to that site. The OpenID Foundation hopes to change that by providing a common userid and password that could be shared and used by multiple websites. Thus if you already have an OpenID userid, and if the Web 2.0 service you would like to use supports OpenID, you would no longer have to create a new userid and password for each Web 2.0 website you would like to use. I have provided a link in the show notes to two news articles that explain the importance of this news as well as a link to the OpenID Foundation website.

Tech Leaders Support OpenID

Yahoo to support OpenID,141463-c,yahoo/article.html

OpenID Foundation

While all this is good news for users who have long wanted a standardized method for logging in to websites via a common userid and password I would suggest that the OpenID Foundation also look at the needs of educators. Right now MySpace allows users as young as 14 according to the MySpace Terms of Service. Yet in reality this is difficult to enforce as the Internet can provide anonymity to its users and the possibility of creating many fake accounts without parental permission. Having children access websites without parental consent is a constant worry. It would be interesting to see if a special category of OpenID could be created that would allow parental supervision if necessary and tag OpenID accounts of underage Internet users. The Internet can be a scary place and supervision is a must for children that use the Internet. Perhaps the OpenID might also provide some type of level control that governs usage. I have not yet heard of any such considerations by OpenID but it is something worthy of consideration at this early stage of development. Leave a comment in my blog and let me know what you think about the OpenID initiative.

Tom’s Technology Pick of the Week

My Technology pick of the week this week is a website that is not yet even one year old. TeacherTube went online March 6, 2007 and provides an alternative to YouTube. The founders of TeacherTube wanted a place that would provide educationally focused videos for teachers, students and home learners. Modeled after YouTube the TeacherTube website also provides a rating system for users to rate their favorite videos. Support files such as lesson plans and activities can also be uploaded and shared. Users have the ability to mark videos as private or public. I have provided a couple of links in the show notes if you would like to learn more.


About TeacherTube

That wraps it up for episode 24 of TechTalk4Teachers. Show notes for this weeks episode are available on the web at that’s techtalk the number 4 Until next time this is Tom Grissom, keep on learning.

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