Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Student Log Ins

As we move toward more technology, one of the issues is helping our students with the log in process. In our school, we have AR log in, Tumblebooks, our new district cloud and who knows what else. Here is a blog post from Eryn at http://www.elementaryorganization.blogspot.com.
I'll also note that I've had the discussion with my kids (second grade) about personal accounts and not using others' account log ins. For older students, they could probably keep their log in info at their desk for more privacy.


computer log-in cards.

At my school, we love us some technology! Teachers love it, kids love it, parents love it - we all love it! But seriously, who wouldn't? We can use it in so many different capacities - virtual math manipulatives, online storybooks, comic-strip writing, podcasts, movies, the list is endless. Be still my heart.

But it's not always unicorns and butterflies. Our little techy world has one major hitch that can bring our digital utopia crashing down in an instant. In order to operate any device in the building, all kids have to log-in with a username that is a combination of bits of their last name, first name, and student ID number (I'm sorry, what?!) and the password is their legal first name.

Now, I'm not at all complaining about the kids having to log-in to the computer - I absolutely understand the reasoning behind it! It's just the difficulty with teaching a six year old a complex web of capital and lowercase letters and numbers, and a password that is probably going to require them to tack on an extra 6 letters to the name they already know how to spell. Oh, and by the way, don't even think about messing up because then we get locked out of your computer and can't get back in for 2 hours. No pressure, young one.

To help alleviate a bit of this stress, at the beginning of the year, I made each student their own "log-in card". I had a plethora of sentence strips, so for lack of a better option, I cut the strips in half and decided those would house the information nicely.I wrote their name so that it was the largest component of the card, then wrote their case-sensitive username along with their password below. I threw them in a bag and set them behind the computers for the kids to access each time they were logging-in to a computer.

Needless to say, it wasn't the most attractive place to house our cards. And the cards themselves were not the least bit lovely. But that wasn't the only problem - the kids would spend tremendous amounts of time digging around in the bag for their log-in card! Cards were sticking together, getting wedged in between papers and other cards - the system just was not working.

As I started thinking about what I could change to make our system of log-in cards easier to use for my kids, and more aesthetically appealing all at the same time, I knew that I would definitely need to type the cards' information. I also wanted to store the cards in a more easily accessible location. As for the "digging through the cards" problem, I knew that I could easily solve that problem by alphabetizing the cards by first name.

I typed up the cards and printed them on heavy cardstock. The child's name is still the largest text, their log-in name (partially blurred in the picture) is listed right underneath their name, and then their password is on the far right of the card.

But no collection of cards is complete without an adorbs cover, so I just HAD to make one of those as well.

And after hole-punching each card, alphabetizing them, and throwing them on a binder ring, our new log-in cards are lovely, compact, and easy for the kids to locate, remove, and replace!

I placed a Command hook on the side of the easiest-to-access computer monitor, creating the perfect new home for our log-in cards! They are easy to reach and always visible, which also encourages the kids to use them more often!

  • By using supplies I already owned, the project was no-cost.
  • It improved the system we had been using to make it easier on the kids.
  • It drastically decreased the space consumed by our log-in cards.
What simple changes have you made in your room that have helped your kids in a drastic way?

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