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Creating Dummy Gmail Accounts for Web 2.0 Applications

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Creating Gmail "Sub-Email" Accounts for Students

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Often times, a Web 2.0 application will require a valid email address to create an account. In order to maximize the safety of the online experience of students, you can create “dummy” Google Gmail accounts to allow you to control the accounts of the students. This will allow you to have greater supervision of the students’ online activities.
 
First, you will need to have your own Gmail account. If you don’t’ have one, or have one for personal use, it is recommended that you create a separate Gmail account just for school use. To sign up for Gmail, go to http://gmail.google.com, click the “Create an Account” button and fill out the registration form.
 
In Gmail, you can have what are called “sub-email accounts.”   For example, if my Gmail address is tbollino@gmail.com, I can use a sub-email account called tbollino+student1@gmail.com. You can use as many as you wish:
 
yourgmail+student2@gmail.com
yourgmail+student3@gmail.com
yourgmail+student4@gmail.com
yourgmail+student5@gmail.com

   

NOTE: You don’t actually have to create these email accounts. They all will go to the tbollino@gmail.com inbox. Gmail ignores the “+” and anything after it.
 
Because these sub-emails will all end up in your Gmail inbox, we will want to organize them using the Gmail filters. Filters are sort of like folders. When someone sends you an email, you can tell Gmail what to do with that email. In this case, we are going to create a filter for each of the student “sub-email accounts” that we are using.
 
When logged onto Gmail, click the “Settings” link in the upper right-hand corner of the screen.
 
Google Mail Settings
 
On the Settings Page click on the Filters tab and then click “Create a New Filter.”
 
Settings Tabs
 



In the “TO:” field of the filter, type the sub-email account address and click the “Next Step” button.
 
Filter Step 1
 
In the next step, you will check the “Skip the Inbox” option and “Apply the Label:” option. You will choose “Create New Label” from the dropdown menu and give the label the same name as you put after the “+” in your sub-email address. Then click “Create Filter.” 
 
 
Filter ListRepeat this process for each student “sub-email” account you will use. You can then use the sub email accounts to manually register your students for a Web 2.0 application. The advantage of this method gives you greater control over accounts so you can:
  • Help a student to retrieve a password
  • Ensure that the account for the Web 2.0 account does not contain personal information.
  • Monitor content being posted
 
Emails sent to the sub-email account will appear on the left side of Gmail.
 
View this tutorial as a Jing screen cast: