Using Google's Gmail to mimic multiple email addresses for your students
mail.Google.com or www.Gmail.com
Did you know that you can use Googleís Gmail to mimic multiple email address, which will deliver all messages to one Gmail account? Not only is it possible, but it is incredibly easy to do. This is very helpful if your school does not provide email accounts to each student, or when you want to control your studentsí login and password information.
Tips and Ideas
Our email address is WhatYouShouldBeUsing@gmail.com When I sign up for a new account at a Web2.0 site, Iíll add a + after my emailís name and place a student's name right after.
For example: WhatYouShouldBeUsing+SarahM@gmail.com
Google is going to ignore anything that comes after the + sign and deliver the message to WhatYouShouldBeUsing@gmail.com. In the mean time, the Web2.0 site with which youíre registering a new account will treat each complex address you type as a separate, individual email address.
Some more examples: WhatYouShouldBeUsing+MarkW@gmail.com, WhatYouShouldBeUsing+SarahM@gmail.com
The Gmail + trick will often work just fine when registering a new account with a website. However, some sites disable the ability to type a + sign on the new account form. Wix.com disabled the + sign several months ago, but we wrote to them and explained what a wonderful classroom tool this could be and why the Gmail + trick was beneficial. They eventually changed it!
Using Gmail + allows you to create suitable usernames for students that protect their privacy, and you will have control over their passwords (which can be reset if the student changes it to something on their own, since you hold the primary email address). Since you're competing with all of the usernames already taken at a Web2.0 by their community of users, and you'll probably want a decent naming scheme that is easy for you to keep track of, add your school's initials within the username. We suggest ODUsarahm, ODUmarkw, etc.