GMail +1 ~ Create Student Email

Survive Under 13 Guidelines - COPPA

Children's Online Privacy Protection Act

The under 13 policies most Web 2.0 tools post are to comply with the FTC’s COPPA rule. COPPA basically says the following: Websites can’t target children, collect information from them, and then market to them without the parent’s permission.

How can any child under 13 log in and create an Animoto, Voicethread or Google Doc? Any child can use almost any Web 2.0 tool with parental permission. Most school districts have a broad statement about Internet usage in the student handbook. Parents sign the agreement giving their permission for students to use the Internet as teachers and administrators deem appropriate and as described in the district’s Acceptable Use Policy (AUP). In addition, “COPPA allows . . . schools to act as agents for parents in providing consent for the online collection of students’ personal information within the school context” (COPPA FAQs).

Manage Student Accounts Using GMail Plus One

Often times, a Web 2.0 application will require a valid email address to create an account. In order to maximize the safety of the online experience of students, you can create “dummy” Google Gmail accounts to allow you to control the accounts of the students. This will allow you to have greater supervision of the students’ online activities.

First, you will need to have your own Gmail account. If you don’t’ have one, or have one for personal use, it is recommended that you create a separate Gmail account just for school use. To sign up for Gmail, go to, click the “Create an Account” button and fill out the registration form.

In Gmail, you can have what are called “sub-email accounts.” For example, if my Gmail address is, I can use a sub-email account called You can use as many as you wish:

NOTE: You don’t actually have to create these email accounts. They all will go to the inbox. Gmail ignores the “+” and anything after it.

Using Filters

Because these sub-emails will all end up in your Gmail inbox, you will want to organize them using the Gmail filters. Filters are sort of like folders. When someone sends you an email, you can tell Gmail what to do with that email. In this case, we are going to create a filter for each of the student “sub-email accounts” that we are using.

When logged onto Gmail, click the “Settings” link in the upper right-hand corner of the screen.

On the Settings Page click on the Filters tab and then click “Create a New Filter.”

In the “TO:” field of the filter, type the sub-email account address and click the “Next Step” button. For example:

Click "Create Filter With This Search"

In the next step, you will check the “Skip the Inbox” option and “Apply the Label:” option.

You will choose “Create New Label” from the dropdown menu and give the label the same name as you put after the “+” in your sub-email address. For example "student1"

Then click “Create Filter.”

Repeat this process for each student “sub-email” account you will use. You can then use the sub email accounts to manually register your students for a Web 2.0 application. The advantage of this method gives you greater control over accounts so you can:

  • Help a student to retrieve a password
  • Ensure that the account for the Web 2.0 account does not contain personal information.
  • Monitor content being posted

Emails sent to the sub-email account will appear on the left side of Gmail.

Stormy Cullum

Instructional technologist with a passion to help students and teachers integrate technology into their everyday lives, both personal and professional.