Tips for handling classroom email accounts and student logins

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Technology is great, but the hurdle of getting a class logged into an app or software program can eat up valuable teaching time. Here are some tips to make logging on easier when your students are not mature enough to handle their own email accounts or logins.

Setting up email accounts

If an app you like requires a user email. use Gmail to create a free email account for the student. The email could be specific to the student or just a number per student if you want to re-use it. For usernames, consider using a format such as “Smith2017AB”, where “Smith” is your last name and “AB” is the initials of the student. Or assign a secret number to each student and use it in the username. Usernames can have letters, numbers, and periods.

For email passwords, use something consistent with a slight variation, (such as “FunTime1” “FunTime2”, etc.), or easy to remember, such as the student’s name. In Gmail, the password must be at least 8 characters. Passwords can include alternate characters but if your students have trouble typing you might want to avoid these. NOTE: In Gmail, usernames are not case-sensitive but passwords are.

In the Birthday field of the email setup, just use a date you can remember, such as January 1, 2000. The date must be at least 13 years in the past.

For the “Your current email address” field, put your own email address. This will be helpful when you need access to the account or need to change the password. Since the email is generally just for app registration, the student won’t necessarily use the email account often.

App progress is frequently communicated through email. To easily monitor messages sent to your students, forward email from each account to your central email account. In the top right of each account, click Settings > Settings > Forwarding and POP/IMAP. In the Forwarding section, click Add a forwarding address and enter the email you use to read messages.

Organizing login information

notecard ringGet a set of cards on a ring to record login names and passwords. Put the username and password info for one student per card, and be sure to include the name(s) of the program, website, or app that the login information is for. Using colored cards and color-coding makes identification easier.

As a back-up, record login information in a Excel table, with the student name in the first column and login/password information in later columns.

When it’s time for students to log in, give each one the note card which matches them and/or the program they are using. Collect the cards after they have logged in.

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