The Gmail Trick

The Gmail trick is an invaluable asset for every teacher whose students don’t have email accounts. So, that’s the majority of students today. With a bit of effort, you can create student accounts for most web 2.0 sites.

  • Create a Gmail account to be used for your class…not your personal account. The students will use the login name so use something like mrsgreensclass.
  • Gmail - Teach Amazing! - The blog for teachersThen, before class, go to the site you want to use and start signing up for accounts. In the place for email account, use your gmail account but add a + sign and the some other numbers and/or text. For example: mrsgreensclass+1, or mrsgreensclass+group1. Of course you need to add the @gmail.com part as well.
  • Carefully log all of this info. I suggest a spreadsheet with a sheet for each site you create accounts for. Log the username, email account used and password.
  • Check your email. All email sent to any of these accounts will go to your main gmail account. So, if the site requires you to respond to a verification email, you find all of these emails in one place.

This technique works for almost all sites. However, voicethread.com has now restricted their site to not allow an email with a + in it…bummer. Regardless, this is a great technique. I have created class sets of accounts for many sites using the Gmail trick.