Most 8th graders fall into two extremes: either they know more about technology than I do, or they don’t even know if they have an email address. There really is no in-between. Over the summer, I went back and forth on the best way to set up accounts for my new students. I debated between these two options:
Option 1- Teacher Creates Student Accounts and Email Addresses
With this option, I would create a gmail address for each student using the same pattern (i.e. student last name.first firstname.lastname@example.org). Once I had the gmail address I created, I would then create an Evernote account for each student using the same naming pattern. Each student would have a unique password, but I would always have access to both the Evernote and gmail accounts.
The Pros: more teacher control; accounts correctly set-up; easy to link notebooks
The Cons: labor-intensive; not an authentic Evernote account for students
Option 2– Students Create Accounts
With this option, each student would create his or her own Evernote account with an active email address. Students would then email me from their accounts so that I could link them to our class notebook.
The Pros: easy set-up (for me); students could have autonomy in creating a unique account
The Cons: lots of trouble-shooting involved; students may not set-up accounts correctly; incoherent usernames; students may not have an email address
I decided to go with Option 2. The students’ homework over the first weekend of school was simple: create an Evernote account and email me from it. I went over the homework assignment in each class.
I also emailed the Homework Directions and steps detailing how to Create an Account to all the 8th grade parents. I also included a note explaining the assignment and how my classes will use Evernote. I also included a public link to our shared class notebook.
After creating accounts, students emailed me an Evernote note, and I added them to the shared class notebook. They also have access to our class notebook via the public link, but by linking their Evernote accounts to the class notebook, they can access it through Evernote rather than depending on a web browser.
Having each student create an account is definitely a hurdle, but that’s only the beginning. The next (HUGE) step is to teach them what to do with Evernote. I’ll save that for another post.
(Note: Feel free to use any or all of the PDFs as an example or template. If you’d like for me to email you the Word document I used to create the PDFs, just send me an email and I’ll be glad to help you out. Doing so may save you some time and allow you to personalize everything.)