Thursday, June 26, 2014

Sub email Accounts in Gmail

Another reason I love Google, but where have I been?!?

Yesterday I was conducting a workshop for elementary teachers on Digital Learning. We discussed a few web tools, like Animoto, Voki, and others, which require user accounts. One of the teachers (thanks Aurora Aparicio!) said she used sub email in her Gmail account for her students to setup web tool accounts. Brilliant!!

To make this work, the teacher needs to setup a gmail account. I would not use my personal gmail, but setup one that is "teachery" in nature. For me it could be "mrswyattclass@gmail.com" or "myschool5thgrade@gmail.com". Once you have setup the email, you can use as many sub accounts as you wish. You do not have to setup additional account, just assign the students an email that is attached to your own. For example, if my email was "mrswyattclass@gmail.com" a sub email could be "mrswyattclass+student1@gmail.com". The email delivery system will ignore what is between the + and @ signs. The emails will be delivered to your Gmail inbox. The + sign after your email username is required for the sub email accounts to work.

It would also be a good idea to setup up a filter in the email so that all emails sent to the sub email gets put into its own folder. This will keep your email from getting overwhelmed as well as give you a folder for each student's work. Animoto, for instance, generates an email when each video is completed. Using sub email and filters, that email will be delivered to the student's folder in your email and you will just have to click the link to view and grade the finished project.

There is setup involved on the part of the teacher, but it is worth it! Of course if your school has student emails for all students then let the kids setup their own account. But if your kids don't have an email, this would be a great work around!