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Password Recovery for students

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Started by Steve Trotter 05 Jun 2014 5:27pm () Replies (16)


As the e-Learning coordinator at my school I often receive emails from parents that their child has forgotten their Google password.

We have sent home 'paper' with passwords on them, but I still receive 1-2 emails a week (not to mention the emails classroom teachers also get with this question).

So, how do school's manage password recovery?? I have emailed passwords when I have personally known the email address the request has come from, but sometimes worry if these password requests are genuine.

Was thinking of developing a Google Form that required specific information about the user (date of birth/ teachers name?) that people had to complete to gain password? Any ideas on this or other solutions? 



  • Peter Corlett (View all users posts) 05 Jun 2014 5:35pm ()

    Use single sign on (SSO)

    Use a programme called "Password control" for easy resetting by teachers and administrators.

    Give them "I must remember my password" as their password.  :-)

  • Steve Trotter (View all users posts) 05 Jun 2014 5:47pm ()

    Thanks Pete,

    Am I right that even with a SSO, you need to know a password?

    We do not want to reset passwords (which pasword control does?), as the passwords are a memorable combination that teachers know and can quickly work out (combination of name, birthday) - this makes it easy if any student has forgotten their password to ask them a couple of questions to determine their password, without the need to go into a database of passwords. 

  • Peter Corlett (View all users posts) 22 Jul 2015 4:43pm ()

    SSO means that there is one password - and that password will allow you to fisrts sign in and then access all the SSO  (Saml 2) sites that are SSO compliant, without having to re-enter the password.  Basically the authentication  happens when the new site checks back to your server and the server says "Yes - this is who they say they are" and so the host site than grants access.  It is an automatic process.

    However not all educational sites out there are SSO compliant.  So I give my children a slip of paper at the start of the year and they stick it into one of their exercise books.  When we use a new site which requires a new password they record their own user name and password - as Yr 5 -6s they are responsible for keeping and maintaining their list.   For Sumdog / Mathletics etc I print off their username cards and they also stick these in where their main password list is.    I haven't had a problem with children hacking other kids accounts etc - only problem I encountered was where a child went away without logging off and another child then did some silly things on their account - became a good teaching & learning opportunity for this issue.

  • Hamish McLean (View all users posts) 05 Jun 2014 6:00pm ()

    Can't be of much help here.  


    We are 1:1 so students don't need to log in or out regularly.  I get maybe 10 resets per term that I have to manage.  Perhaps this is another reason to initially invest into a 1:1 system.  Saves us money and time in the long run Cool

  • Shona Poppe (View all users posts) 05 Jun 2014 6:57pm ()

    We are embarking on GAFE for years 3 - 8 and I (ICT Leadership) have given a master copy of the passwords to their classroom teacher as we are using the same one for their individual 'web based filtering' log on. 

    The students will be expected to take responsibility for their passwords and any resets/recoveries will be directed firstly through their classroom teacher, then requests via their teacher to myself only for any resets.

    We are also able to email via our SMS, so if need be we can plead that we can only provide such sensitive information through a (guardian's) registered email.

    This is Plan A.

  • KathC (View all users posts) 05 Jun 2014 7:29pm ()

    I feel for you. I know password recovery and constant changing can be a time consuming nightmare. As a classroom teacher of yr 5/6 I took the hard line early in the year, and once we had discussed and created our passwords the children were taught ( usually through some unfortunate 'fallguy' ) that their one job was to remember it, as I would not be recovering it for them. Especially not in any timely manner.

    After the first few forgetters were unable to use the computers, and were frustrated about not being able to join in, no one else forgot. 

    Of course after some squirming ( a few days) I did reset the 'fallguys' password, with a 'This will be the only time" and never had to do it again. This has worked with all my yr 5/6 classes. Of course the 1-2 children you have who genuinely don't ever remember anything, I make their password, make it memorable to them and remember it myself too. Passwords are only told back to children face to face.

    Many teachers in our school prefer to keep their own list of the classes passwords so they can just tell them when need be. Saves all the resetting. Teachers have managed this themselves.

    Personally I consider the ability to remember a password and to manage your own password shows that a child is ready to be responsible online, and is ready for their GAFE account. Inability to log in independently may be a sign that they are not ready yet?

    A key part of this is the child being involved in setting their own password that is memorable to them, so much easier to remember.

    hope this is helpful.

  • Sarah Parker (View all users posts) 05 Jun 2014 7:39pm ()

    For our year 5/6 classes - 5 of them, each class has it's own unique word e.g. Legend or Awesome and then each student in that room has a number, in our case it's the number that they are on the class order.  Password may be 07Legend for example.  That way if they ever forget their password all we have to ask them 'what's your number'.  

  • Steve Trotter (View all users posts) 05 Jun 2014 7:52pm ()

    Thanks all, some great suggestions.

    Though all teachers have a master password list at school, this does not help when a parent sits down to complete Home Learning with their child away from school!

    This is not a big problem in the scheme of things, I just 'feel the pressure' when a parents emails saying the password 'does not work' and that they have to do their Home Leaning 'now'! I guess I would love an automated password recovery service so that no teacher ever has to answer these password requests!

    I think in the short term we will send home our GAFE letter at the start of each term, which includes password credientials. 

    Thanks again, alot of food for thought :)

  • Becksnewton (View all users posts) 06 Jun 2014 8:50am ()

    We use Hapara Teacher Dashboard which gives each teacher the ability to change and manage their students passwords.  And this doesn't even get in to all the other advantages offered with Teacher Dashboard.  I would recommend looking at!


  • Warren Grieve (View all users posts) 08 Aug 2015 7:42pm ()

    I recommend Hapara also. Especially with the new updates that have come through.

  • Rob Gunn (View all users posts) 16 Aug 2015 9:02pm ()

    Sorry Steve. We use Hapara for teachers to reset kids passwords if necessary. But we don't get that a lot (senior primary though). We encourage the kids to manage their passwords as we all have to, which includes creating and remembering.

    There is a programme called lastpass which is like a password remembering tool but you need to be logged in to the computer and lastpass account first.

  • Steve Trotter (View all users posts) 16 Aug 2015 9:13pm ()

    Cheers Rob,

    Our issue with using Hapara password resets is that we have a Windows Active Directory/Google password sync. Changing the password in Google messes with this sync. I am thinking of removing this sync for students though, as we have less and less need for students to have PC logins.


  • Rob Gunn (View all users posts) 17 Aug 2015 1:44pm ()

    We have gone right away form ad sync (we started there) because there wasn't any need for it with all students on google. Adding new students and creating groups etc is a lot simpler now straight through google. Staff still need it though for print versatility. 

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