The first year I taught with laptops, I kept track of every student’s password for everything we used. My thinking was that if they couldn’t remember their information, at least I could quickly help them. Well, after a few years of that I realized that all I was really doing was making more work for myself and teaching them that they didn’t need to be responsible for their passwords because anytime they forgot, I would step in and fix it for them. Smart kids – not so smart teacher!
Fast forward to now and I make it very clear to my students that it is their responsibility to look after their usernames and passwords. Originally, I had them write the info in their planners. However, I very quickly realized that 12 and 13 year olds don’t use their planners so much, unless you force it on them and that’s not a battle I am willing to fight. For the past four or five years, I’ve used a sheet of paper I’ve created, with room for them to record urls, usernames and passwords. They are supposed to keep that in their binders, in the homeroom section. I even give them a plastic protector sleeve to keep it in! Here’s what it looks like:
Not bad! It works really well except for the 3 or 4 kids in every class whose personal organization style can best be described as Pig-pen-like.
This summer, while surfing on Pinterest, I found another password sheet I really liked, created on Google Docs. It came from a blog called Ladybug’s Teacher Files. I liked it because it’s colourful (which pleases me) and because while I was bemoaning the fact that I lack access to a colour printer I realized (call me slow) that I could just share this with the kids through Google Classroom and they could keep their own copy in their files! That means that the only information I really need to keep for the kids is their school Google credentials (’cause yes, there will inevitably be those same 3 or 4 kids who forget even that!). By the way, yes I do realize the other one could be handed out digitally as well…it just took looking at someone else’s idea before that occurred to me!
So, for those of you who think it’s time your students were more responsible, here’s a link to an editable version of the first tracking sheet and the second. Just please remember to make a copy for your own drive before you start editing! Use and enjoy!