Wednesday, February 16, 2011

G-mail sub-account trick for students

This has been documented in other places, but I wanted to write the steps down for anyone interested in this...

Email accounts for students should be something done in every school. Unfortunately, it's not. In order to use a lot of the best digital tools out there, you need an email account. Here are some steps to take to get around this particular barrier, all while keeping email monitored and safe.

1. Create a gmail account for your class (or classes). MrJohnsonPeriod2@gmail.com, for example.
2. Whenever your students need to sign up for a tool (like Animoto, for example), have them use this as an email address: MrJohnsonPeriod2+BillyB@gmail.com (Billy being the first name and B representing their last initial).
3. I'd also suggest telling your students to all use the same password (MrJPD7, for example). This way, you can easily log into student accounts if you ever need to.
4. All emails sent to the student email address go straight to your root gmail address. In other words, the registration email for the tool that the student signed up for will go straight to MrJohnsonPeriod2@gmail.com. Since students do not have your password, they never actually access the email address- it is just a safe front for them to be able to sign up to use some of the tools that require email addresses.

Until all students have email accounts (as they should...so they can manage their own tools, content, and communication), this can be an effective stopgap technique!

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