With all the great educational websites out there, signing up your class to a new website can be a very time-consuming exercise.
Depending on the website, this might be done by:

  1. uploading a list of students and their email addresses,
  2. providing a link to the class’s signup page (e.g. as with edmodo), or
  3. Arduously signing up each student, one by one.

If the website wasn’t designed with classes in mind, individual sign ups might be the only way. In this case, the person signing up will need access to the email address so that it can be confirmed.
The teacher has two choices, show the students how to sign up to the website themselves (this might take up half the lesson even if things don’t go awry) or do it for them. But wait… you don’t have access to their emails, you need to confirm registrations and you don’t have 30 different email address of your own.
Except you do.
Enter Gmail. With one address you can append a + to your user name (the part before the @ sign) to create an infinite number of possible new addresses. Each of these will arrive at your email address.

For instance, emails sent to:
fred.knucklehead+56z1@gmail.com
fred.knucklehead+56z2@gmail.com
fred.knucklehead+mcps.10@gmail.com
will all arrive at fred.knucklehead@gmail.com.
As an added bonus, these emails can easily be filtered within gmail so that they are placed in a class folder on arrival.
I use this by having a dedicated class email address, like zps5m@gmail.com and then each sign up is
zps5m+1@gmail.com
zps5m+2@gmail.com
or
zps5m+animotosam@gmail.com
zps5m+animotoelizabeth@gmail.com
I also find this useful when setting up group accounts, as no single student is an owner
zps5m+pandas@gmail.com
Just as an extra tidbit, those dots you use in your gmail address? They’re ignored. So if your email address is fred.knucklehead@gmail.com, fredknucklehead@gmail.com and fr.ed.knuckle.head@gmail.com will all arrive at the same account. Try it out!

 

About The Author

Primary Technologies Teacher
Google+

Rob McTaggart teaches Technologies from K-6 in Newcastle, Australia. He is co-founder of the Digital Sparks regional student technology design challenge & expo.
Rob is a Google for Education Certified Innovator who loves to help students to engage and create with the world using technology. He developed the RAPID Design framework to support students and teachers in these aims.
Rob is a moderator for #aussieED and plays a logistics role for the team, managing the website and various channels. He is an ambassador and teacher trainer for Code Club Australia and runs a local Code Club for his students.
His main gig is teaching 550 amazing kids every week which makes him a very lucky teacher!

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