Problem: some of the most popular free e-mail sites do not allow people with birth years in a certain range to create accounts for certain services (ex. Google Accounts work for Gmail with parent credit card, but not at all for Blogger).
Problem: teachers encouraging students to be dishonest with registration is just morally wrong (trust me, I already went through that angst immediately after teaching Cyber Citizenship and came to that conclusion for you :).
Solution: teachers use Gmail+ to create student accounts! (courtesy of the EduBlogger)
The way it works
|teacher has or creates a Gmail account.|
I recommend setting up a separate account from your regular e-mail so any student spam does not interfere with your regular messages.
And Gmail is even cooler because you can add dots to your account name
|teacher creates students accounts by adding a plus after their e-mail account but before the at (@) email@example.com|
or any combination of dots (.) and pluses (+) thereof which allows you to distinguish which service messages are coming from
That's all there is to this relatively recent and incredibly bothersome problem! I mean, I scratched my head for days and sent many protest e-mails when I couldn't find a solution, but over the break I ran across a number of resources, one of which was this Edublogs lesson on this issue and a major issue is solved.
My original solution involved petitioning and campaigning and demonstrating to get my district's tech people to quickly implement Google's FREE Apps for Schools to get student e-mail accounts, but that probably wouldn't have worked :)...ok, definitely would not have worked. Ok, I'm still going to do all of the above because I need my students to have Google Docs, but this workaround is a short term solution. And now I'm rambling so on to the next one!
Another tip comes from this article: you actually receive accounts on 2 domains with Gmail: gmail.com and googlemail.com, so using filters you can differentiate where mail is coming from. Having debugged and de-virused many student computers, I recommend you use this tips...with an account separate from yours.
To create e-mail accounts for your blood children (as opposed to your adopted-student-children) under your Gmail account, this article suggests adding the account+ to your Gmail settings... with the first hack, I'm not sure it's necessary, the only difference being if your child wants to "send" a message with their name instead of the parent's.
Lastly, I label e-mails and sort files using numbers (ex. 0-really important stuff, 9-stuff to do when I'm bored out of my mind, in-between-numbers: prioritized stuff), but I like this suggestion to use slashes like a file system and other symbols to organize your Gmail Inbox.