This email hack has been mentioned in a few blogs over the last year but it is worth repeating for teachers who, like myself, don’t have a system for giving students email accounts through their school and who, like myself, don’t want students to use home email accounts for our school projects.
This system allows you to create sub-accounts in Gmail that can be used by students for registering for various online sites, but all access and any incoming mail would come to the main account. (therefore, it is not a hack for providing real email functionality to students)
Here is how it works:
- Set up a Gmail account. I recommend you set up a secondary Gmail account just for class projects instead of using your personal email. The most obvious reason for this is that you probably don’t want kids to have your personal email address (or maybe you do). And heck, it easy enough to create a Gmail account.
- When you using a web-based application site that requires an email for students (such as Edublogs, etc) ,
simply append the student’s name with a “+” before the @gmail.com of your main email address. So, for example, if your email is email@example.com and your student’s name is Justine, then her email address would be firstname.lastname@example.org
- I think I may have read somewhere that is a limit to the number of sub accounts per gmail account but I am not sure about that. The number 20 sticks in my head.
- Also, I believe you can add a filter to your gmail so that you could route all incoming mail from your students into one bin.
There are other ways to set up student email accounts for registration purposes, too, including:
- Establish an account with Think.Com, which is run by Oracle and is a walled garden where teachers have control over access to email and there are profanity filters in place for all email being generated;
- Gaggle.Net is another place for student-friendly email hosting (although you want to research the embedding of advertising for free service);
- Use one of the self-destructing, temporary email services (light the fuse and run like heck):
I am sure there are other solutions, too. What do you do? Use the comment section on this post to share your strategies.