Sunday, October 17, 2010

passwords, passwords, and more passwords

Well, the first thing I need to do is apologize to anybody who is still reading this blog. I know that it has been a long time since my last post! I have plenty of excuses, and 1 or 2 of them are pretty good (or at the very least honest) but I am just going to say that this is the first time I have had both the time and the idea at the same time so I could create a new post. I am going to make an effort to keep posting; with at least 1 new program a week in my future posts as well as some updates from past posts including new Wii posts coming soon! Welcome back!!
As we begin our 8th week of the school year, I am now just about ready for the school year to begin! As is the norm, it takes a few weeks to get everything up and running and working the way I want once all the students come back and start taxing all the equipment! We have several software packages which are causing some issues (not the least of which is the Ubuntu and NComputing combo - another upcoming post) but we are working through them as best we can. Special thanks goes out to all the teachers who are working hard to use the technology in their classrooms!

So as the students are using all of the different software packages in their classrooms or throughout the school, we are finding out that they are starting to rack up the passwords. They have passwords to log on to the computer, to log into their Google accounts, to use our Scholastic programs, to use our online Math program, our in house Math program, our Moodle program, the local newspaper site, as well as several other websites that require a generic login. I know that there are other passwords that I am forgetting as well. We try to make them the same (or at least similar) for easy remembering and some of our younger students write them down (I know that isn't secure but it has to be done). I also know that there are different programs which allow you to create 1 secure password and then put in all the others so the computer remembers them(Roboform is one that I am familiar with). They aren't supposed to share their passwords with anyone (I always tell them that if they have to share their passwords with someone, they can share it with their pet - as long as it isn't a talking bird or the Bush's Baked Beans dog) and they do a pretty good job of keeping them secret. But, it just is a lot of crazy words and phrases that they have to keep track of. It also means a lot of resetting on my part when they are forgotten!
Does anybody have a program or a process for keeping their students' passwords in order? I would love to hear any suggestions that work for others.

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