Juggling Student Logins

I don’t know about you but I love trying new things in my classroom. If I see a new app or teaching website, I like to try it out with my classes. This means that children usually need multiple logins and they forget them very easily.

Even teenagers. They need to be able to login to the school’s intranet, to my online gradebook, to sites to take part in my ‘flipped’ lessons, to my classroom blog, to write collaborative documents.

Even one username and password can be too much for some young people. They find work-arounds but they usually involve writing passwords down on paper or unencrypted documents or having the same password for everything. I am supposed to be teaching them how to keep their data secure, and I’m accidentally teaching them the exact opposite.

Parents bring it up in parent-teacher conferences and I know they have a point. It is too much! But what would I be willing to drop? These websites fulfil a pedagogical need. Maybe they are working with students across the world on writing something, maybe they are authoring their own interactive quizzes, maybe they are just double-checking assignments at home or turning them in electronically. I want them to do these things because I think it makes their learning experience more powerful and memorable.

I read a tutorial recently for introducing a new technique in the classroom and my stomach dropped at how many logins the students would need. How do these teachers manage?

At the moment, I make liberal use of the password change facility, to help my students out. I also keep a copy of their logins in my desk.

There are password managers out there (Dashlane, Onesafe, 1password, RoboForm etc) which can be installed on student devices. LastPass is web-based if that suits you better. Most charge only for extra features, which is great in an educational situation. You will probably want to keep their master password in your desk, though, just in case.

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