There are great tools out there, many of which are free. However, in many cases, you need an email address to set up an account. How are others out there dealing with this issue when the school district does not have student email accounts at this time.?

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Google Apps for Education - Free.
Check out
Full membership is free for schools outside of the UK and students don't need emails to be signed up.
UpToUs ( - a free online solution that bring parents and educators together to privately organize their classrooms, sports teams and other extra-curricular activities. The site is simple, free and safe and provides access to many tools such as classroom calendar with auto-reminders, parent directory, multiple collaborative volunteer sign-up sheet templates, photo sharing, file sharing and many more.

From what I see, beyond 4/5th grade, almost all kids have emails. At younger ages, I feel that parents should still serve as the channel for online communication with the kids.
This is a challenge. In some cases, the tools are made available by the teacher using his/ her email address. In other cases, it is "suggested" that students who do in fact have an email address use thei own address, but this tends to create other issues. Being in IT Support, I have seen how these free tools that can be downloaded and used on school computers are met with resistance because in the event the tool is not functioning, it is IT Support that has to miraculously find a solution for them. This along with aggressive network security in the form of antispyware, antivirus and internet filtering have sometimes prevented these tools from being accessed.

The best suggestion I would have would be to involve both your instructional technology group and your IT support group. These groups can work with you on a solution that can satisfy everyone - in most cases.

Marty Caise
Project: Tech Answers
I try to avoid anything where it is mandatory kids sign up using an account or enter their email address. There have been occasions where I needed an individual student to use an account-based 2.0 application. In those instances, I logged them in using my account. Not a lasting solution, I know, but it worked.

To that end, there are some great applications, out of the MANY on this page, that kids can use without logging in or using an account.

This website is generated by an instructor at the University of Alberta, and I think it is a comprehensive collection of 2.0 apps. I hope it helps.

There are several ways to deal with the e-mail issue.

1. Set Up Dummy or Multiple Accounts

2. Create student accounts using a domain name

3. Mailinator

4. GuerrillaMail

Hopefully, one of these will fit your needs to get around the e-mail requirement.
I am going to ask for permission to pilot using Google Apps with my 7th & 8th grade computer classes next year. I am quite unhappy with Gaggle. We have had it for many years, but I find it to be slow, buggy and the interface is unlike any other webmail out there.
I also think that we need to get past the Gaggle model of filtering by keyword. It is very time consuming to keep up with all the blocked messages. Most of the blocked messages are innocent. They either have a word that can also be considered inappropriate or it is a non-threatening use of a word that is commonly used by students.

However, I know that my administrators will be quite concerned about not being able to see every student message like they can with Gaggle. (or at least I am not aware of how this could be done with Google Apps for Education.

I have tons to learn still about the Google solution, but I think it is more educationally sound for students in the Web 2.0/Cloud world.
This thread, with info on ePals and, might help.



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