On a recent visit to a local school that is using Typing.com in their classrooms, we discovered that the teachers were facing a major headache at the start of each class when the students had to log in.
At least 20 minutes of the class time was eaten up by students who couldn’t remember their passwords and couldn’t log in.
Now, I’m sure that these teachers aren’t the only ones facing this challenge, so here are some tips we’ve come up with to help young students understand, create, and manage their passwords.
Explaining the importance of passwords to students
Before setting kids off on a new computer program where they’ll need to choose a password, make sure to have a conversation about what the purpose of an internet password is and why it is important to make them unique and keep them a secret.
Even if the threat of someone accessing their Typing.com account doesn’t seem all that imminent or dangerous, we want students to take password creation seriously as early on as possible.
Thus, down the road when they are creating passwords for an online bank account or health insurance provider, they understand the importance of the task.
Helping your students create their passwords
With kids (ok, and most adults as well) it is important that passwords strike a balance between being memorable, but not so easy that they could easily be guessed.
With younger students, a good place to start is to have students generate passwords that use a combination of a personal word, phrase, or abbreviation with a number that they will remember.
To keep this simple you could ask them all to make a password with their favorite color and number. Eg. blue7
Optional: Use a password generator
There are also websites such as dinopass.com that will automatically generate strong passwords for kids. But, since these are not personalized, it is less likely that a student will remember it.
How to help students remember their passwords
When starting out, we recommend that students write down their password somewhere safe when they first create it so that they can reference it the first few times they log-on.
Soon enough, they will have committed it to memory and as long as they are using the website on a regular basis, they shouldn’t have any password problems.
What to do if your students forget their passwords
On Typing.com, even though teachers have the option to login and check or reset a student’s password, we recommend against doing this.
Instead of just giving them their passwords each time, we suggest having a “memory question” that you can ask students that will help them remember their password. This will help them to improve their memories and to teach them responsibility.
If you have them all create passwords with the same combinations (ie. favorite color and number), your job will be even easier.
Teaching your students early on the basics of creating and managing passwords, you will be doing them an invaluable service, which will help secure their online presence in the future.
We hope these tips will save you a significant amount of time and headache with each lesson!
If you have any additional suggestions, we’d love to hear them! Please leave a comment below!