Student usernames and logging in daily for lessons.
Deciding how to set up usernames for the students is a process that should allow students anonymity to encourage students to communicate openly. Taking the use of sorbets (nicknames) one step further provides an opportunity to create background knowledge and work on media literacy standards. Usernames were selected based on the introduction assignment. For The Pigman novel study usernames are animals from the Bronx Zoo and usernames for the Touching Spirit Bear are cities in Alaska. See The Pigman Part One and Touching Spirit Bear Part One for details and student posting examples.
The easiest way to complete this process is for the teacher to go through and assign the username and student email address. The School District has student email addresses through Google, which made sign up easy for students. As the teacher creates new users, enters usernames, and adds student email addresses an email is sent to the student. The email is an invitation to Kidblog.org. Students follow the link provided and login with Google.
To test the Kidblog.org signup process the seventh-grade signed up using Google and the eighth-grade used the specified classroom blog website address, logging in with usernames and passwords. Signup with the Google was smoother, took less time and was easier for students to login during subsequent lessons – all the teacher had to say was go to Kidblog.org and login with Google. Eighth-grade signup with usernames and passwords was a little more time-consuming. The teacher passed out slips of paper with classroom weblink, username, and password. On the following days, signing in took longer because students had to go to the specific classroom blog web address, remember username and password. To eliminate the wasted time, student email addresses were added to usernames by the teacher, welcome emails were sent to students, students followed the link, and verified Google email login. Now both classes login with Google, saving time.