"If we teach today's students as we taught yesterday's, we rob them of tomorrow." --John Dewey

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Student Emails

Have you heard the term Web 2.0?  Wikipedia says "A Web 2.0 site allows users to interact and collaborate with each other in a social media dialogue as creators (prosumers) of user-generated content in a virtual community."  Interact, and collaborate are two verbs that make web 2.0 sites perfect for use in your classroom, but very often they require an email address in order to create an account.  Does that mean that your students are out of luck when it comes to using these sites?  Of course not!  If you have a gmail account (and if you don't, you should), you can create email accounts for your students for the purpose of website registration, without providing any of their personal information, and without any of them actually having to access the account.  Here's how:

Send yourself an email.  But, instead of addressing it to yourself@gmail.com, address it to yourself+lisas@gmail.com.  You've just created an account for Lisa Simpson!

Select the message when it arrives in your inbox, and go to the "More" drop down menu. Select "Filter messages like these."

In the new screen that appears, enter your student's email in the "To" field (everything else should be blank), and go to the next screen.

Check the box that says "Apply the label," and from the drop down menu choose "New label."  Enter this student's name as the new label, then press "Create filter."
    Messages intended for this student will now come to your gmail account, with your student's name in the filter.

    Now I know what you're thinking--that's a lot of work just to set up email accounts that my students will never even access.  You're right, I suppose.  But when you find a wonderful web 2.0 site that is just right for use in your classroom (and trust me, there are so many), you will have no trouble setting up individual accounts for your students.  Before you know it they'll be "interacting and collaborating" like you never thought possible.  It really will be worth the trouble.

    Not ready to tackle this yourself?  Please let me know, and I'll be glad to help.


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