Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Creating Gmail "Sub-Email" Accounts for Students

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.

In Gmail or Mail with Google Apps for Ed, you can have what are called “sub-email accounts.”   For example, my Gmail address is, I can use a sub-email account called You can use as many as you wish:
NOTE: You don’t actually have to create these email accounts. They all will go to the your gmail inbox. Gmail ignores the “+” and anything after it.

Because these sub-emails will all end up in your Gmail inbox, you 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:

On the Settings Page click on the Filters tab and then click “Create a New Filter.”

In the “TO:” field of the filter (1), type the sub-email account address and click the “Create filter with this search” link (2).
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.”
 New label... Enter new label name:

Repeat 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 Mail in SCS Google Apps for Ed:

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