Variety is the spice of life unless you are a third grade teacher with different logins for each student. When the popularity of the internet blossomed, and programs migrated from desktops to the big cloud in the sky, I wondered if there was a simpler way to manage how students log into various programs.
Adults have it easy. Facebook, Twitter, and Google+, among others, allow you to sign up for other apps or programs with their login information. If you are comfortable having an outside party managing your information, then it makes for a great solution. Unfortunately, we are not quite there for student accounts. I’ve heard rumors of Schoology providing a single login for students but it has yet to materialize into reality.
My fix? I standardize everything in my class to match my student’s GMail accounts. This makes so much easier for the child when they only have to remember their email as their username for the various accounts we use… and we use many: Gmail, Schoology, Educreations, Skitch, Evernote, Renaissance Learning, and the list goes on.
I use a similar technique for passwords but for student security I won’t be too specific on my method. I would suggest, however, that in the lower elementary grades students use a similar password for their accounts. Just don’t use the same password for every child. Kids as savvy and cheeky so they will log into accounts they are not supposed to if given the opportunity.
As digital natives get older and tech advances beyond what we can imagine today, managing logins will get easier. In the meantime it is up to us, the classroom teacher or tech specialists, to help children manage their online persona and information.