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Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Passwords

Since starting blogs in the classroom the single most annoying problem is the students' inability to remember logins and passwords. There have been other snafus like students using nicknames that I don't recognize or posting to the wrong blog. I have them all for two classes and sometimes they get confused. Some of the students can't even remember the password to logon to the network. Those I have in a spreadsheet sent to me by administration, but I made the decision early on that students would be responsible for they're profile on blogger. Mainly I am lazy and didn't want the responsibility, but I also thought that it was important for them to learn how to create and maintain an online profile.

I thought that the threat of losing all of their work on blogger would be incentive enough to keep track of the password. The fault in this reasoning is that my students for the most part don't value their work. They do value points so I had many of them create a new blog every time I assigned a writing. Of course they would then forget to give me the new URL and thus we would have many a panic moment when grades were due. I guess that I could give them a grade for maintaining the blog, but again this seems like a false incentive.

Because of a blog I read earlier in the year, I decided to let the kids to use their phones to keep track of the passwords. I think this worked for several of the students, but as a security measure it would be terrible. These passwords aren't protecting anything valuable, but if they lost their phone then they would also be giving up access to their blog.

So, I have decided that a password is a school supply. If we can charge for pencils and paper, then can we charge the students for keeping track of their passwords. I suggest ten cents for every time I have to look it up. Now there will be an issue of the student not receiving anything tangible, but I would make the argument that it is intellectual property and the students are only giving us a reward for recovering it.

4 comments:

dexter said...

I totally agree. The students in the class seems like they are forgetful. I know itsnot your responsibility but since you can see that the kids are losing there passwords and email addresses you should tell them to make another one and then give a copy so when they lose theres you would have a copy. this would make things run a whole lot smoother.

Mike Seybert said...

I have my kids make a password document, listing all of their user names and passwords (four different sets). They save this Word document to their network drives, which are password protected. When they need to recall a particular user name or password, they just log-in and retrieve the document, and copy and paste from there. Yes, each student must remember his network user name and password, which are used every time they log in to our system and thus quickly memorized. But over the course of a school year, the password document prevents considerable frustration with other unrecalled passwords. Hope this is clear.

Dan Holden said...

This sounds like a pretty good idea. I will say that with my students I do have to give them their network logins quite frequently, but those were given to us on a huge spreadsheet so I can look them up.

Anonymous said...

How about trying out a Free Password Manager
www.billeo.com