Tech Tuesday

Finds and Thoughts about Tech Integration

Here’s the Spark You May Have Been Looking For! Update

November8

If you have tried to use Adobe Spark, you probably have encountered a student log-in conundrum. The user guide states that children under the age of 13 are not allowed to create their own Adobe ID and so they will need to sign in with an account created by and supervised by a teacher or parent.

Originally, I thought we were fine with our student Google accounts… sadly, I was wrong. If we try to create accounts with our GAFE accounts, students still are prompted to supply a birth date. It seemed like we would be able to circumvent this age requirement as we were using District supervised emails, but that was not the case. A misinterpretation on my part, I admit. Wanting to model good digital citizenship (not lying about our age!), I had to do some thinking about what the user guide was implying…

First Solution: create a generic Gmail account. This Gmail is used to create an account at Adobe Spark. Essentially, it is a class account that all students will use. Since the Gmail is supervised and controlled by the teacher, the teacher’s birth date (or year of the school’s creation) may be used for the creation.

The tricky part to this solution: Can a whole class log into this one Adobe account simulataneously and create a Post, Page or Video? We started to try this solution out with a few of us adults, making a new Video project at the same time. It seemed to work. We thought it may be prudent to either stagger the students as they began the initial save of each “file” as to not crash the account. The classroom teacher I am working with on this inaugural project even agreed to make the files ahead of time so that students would just access/open the files as they all logged in.

However, not wanting to waste valuable student learning time if everything went awry, I started to investigate another solution…

#2: Use the old Gmail hack trick to create student accounts. (Thanks to my colleague, Marianne Butterline, for reminding me about this one as I haven’t used it in years. The reason? Our individual student Google accounts with so much access to Google services.) In a nutshell, the Gmail hack is that you create a Gmail account and then add +1, +2, +3, etc. to the address when you sign up for a service.

Hypothetical example: the original account is MsSandersonsClass@gmail.com. Therefore, when I go to Adobe Spark, I create an Adobe ID by setting up a teacher demo account with MsSandersonsClass@gmail.com. When asked about the birth date, I can supply my own. From there, I would proceed to create more accounts for each student in the following manner: MsSandersonsClass+1@gmail.com, MsSandersonsClass+2@gmail.com, MsSandersonsClass+3@gmail.com, etc. until I had enough accounts. All of these accounts would receive their notifications to the original MsSandersonsClass@gmail.com email address that I am monitoring. I would be able to access them all, and they were created by a supervising teacher (satisfying the Adobe user guide).

Overall, an important reminder in all of this: keep an eye on what your students are doing. No great tool replaces the watchful eyes and guidance of a teacher!

I would love to hear your thoughts on any of our trials and tribulations.

Oh, and here’s Mrs. P’s example for her students.

And some by her students:

Learning objective: Demonstrate how a character has changed over the course of a story.

That was always our guiding light.  To quote Monica Burns, ‘Tasks before apps!’

8 Comments to

“Here’s the Spark You May Have Been Looking For! Update”

  1. November 9th, 2016 at 9:50 am       Peri Schultz Says:

    Those are sweet! I have used the multiuser log in trick here at SB for Animoto. As each team has nearly 100 students, every team must have 2 false accounts. It is labor intensive but it works. For animoto, each year I must renew the accounts individually. Ugh. Amazing what we do in the background, that no one ever sees, to allow the safe use of these great online applications.


  2. November 9th, 2016 at 11:02 am       lsanderson Says:

    Thanks, Peri. Yes, so much behind the scenes work! 🙂


  3. March 17th, 2017 at 2:40 pm       Julie Testa Says:

    I just came across this problem and I am so disappointed that the Adobe Spark website doesn’t address this issue more clearly. They advertise that its great to use in classrooms, yet don’t allow honest students (under age 13) to sign up! I think I am going to try to push forward and just have all my students use my email address and password, thus creating everything under my account.
    When you used the “gmail hack” did your students really remember their own +# email address? And their password? I’d be afraid that too many would forget as I see them in the library only once a week.


  4. March 17th, 2017 at 7:29 pm       lsanderson Says:

    Hi, Julie. Yes, our fifth graders had no problem remembering. Suggestions: make index cards with the username and passwords for each student or user that you can pass out quickly during each library class. Another idea is to to do a numbering system. Assign each student a number. That will be their +number in the address. Then make the password the same except for that same number. When the class comes in, you just have to display the root email address and password. For example, vinlandlib+#@gmail.com ; Library# You would just keep a list of the numbers and names for reference. Some people do not like students being able to figure out each other’s usernames and passwords. I use it as a digital citizenship community lesson. We are here to help each other learn at school, and so by knowing how the usernames and passwords work, we (students) can assist each other quickly. Also, I emphasis how it’s against our Responsible Use Policy to access someone else’s account. Just because you could; doesn’t mean you should is what I tell them. Hope these ideas help!


  5. March 23rd, 2017 at 8:54 am       Julie Testa Says:

    Thank you so much for responding to my concerns! I do have one more question: If you do this project the following year, will you create all new gmail +# accounts for your students, or will you re-use last year’s numbers? Or will you create a new base gmail account? Just wondering what you think the best idea is. Thanks!


  6. March 23rd, 2017 at 10:00 am       lsanderson Says:

    Hi, Julie. Most likely we will keep the same base Gmail and accounts, but change the passwords for new students to use. That’s worked well for us in the past. Good luck, and keep me updated on how you guys do!


  7. June 2nd, 2017 at 10:11 am       Julie Testa Says:

    Just an update: My fifth graders created beautiful book talk videos using Adobe Spark. However, I had them all use my login credentials. I had a whole class on the website simultaneously logged in as me with no problems!


  8. June 2nd, 2017 at 12:33 pm       lsanderson Says:

    That’s great, Julie! We were not quite that daring. Do you have any samples to share? I’d love to see… and maybe, post here if you had permissions. 🙂 Lisa


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