K-12 Tip: Selecting domain names for different classes of users

Live@edu gives you lots of flexibility in mapping domain names for your users.  I’ll demonstrate some simple concepts using my demo domain namespace:  Live@edu.info.  Here are some things to think about:

1) Protection for admin accounts:  You can obscure your administrator logons.  Give your admins a primary email address that’s different from their Windows Live ID login.  For example, my admin account might use admin.3@ps.liveatedu.info to logon.  However, when I send an email from that account, the sender address would instead display b.chung@liveatedu.info.  It can’t hurt to avoid broadcasting your admin account names around in email.  The easiest way to do this is to create the account using the domain name that that you want the user to have for the email address (in this case b.chung@liveatedu.info). Then we go to PowerShell to change the LiveID—you’ll find instructions for doing that here:  http://help.outlook.com/en-us/140/ee423637.aspx

2) Protection for students:  Not all schools use a closed campus policy for every student.  For instance, it’s common to allow high school students more freedom in communicating with public domains.  Branding the student email address may serve as a warning to adult recipients that they are communicating with a minor child. It can also make it difficult for a student to use their email address to pretend to be—for example—a teacher.  You might consider using a naming convention such as bchung@k12student.liveatedu.info!  Outlook Live will also allow you to append a disclaimer to anyone’s outgoing email; however, the recipient has to read to the bottom of the email to see it…

3) Official K-12 Namespaces Can Be Hard to Type:  If you’ve decided to use an official K-12 domain name (usually in the form of <schoolname>.k12.<state>.us as the users primary email address, you can make the typing easier.  In this example, my primary email address might be barbara.chung@liveateduschool.k12.nm.us.   (I would really hate to have to type that everyday at logon.)  Since my email address doesn’t have to be the same as my logon account name (see #1 above), I can use another (shorter) domain name to logon:  bchung@liveatedu.info. Both addresses can be used to send/receive, so I can give out the shorter name to my friends–but the primary name will be the default displayed in outgoing mail.  You could use the method described in #1 above, but If you’re changing a lot of accounts, you may want to use a different tactic:  provision the account for the Windows Live ID name, then change the users primary email address.  Instructions here:  http://help.outlook.com/en-us/140/dd251224.aspx.

4) Using Student ID Numbers As Account Names.  This can be a bad idea if students use their student ID numbers to pay for services (like lunch) since primary email addresses are visible to recipients in email. If it’s necessary to use the Student ID number for logon (perhaps that’s how they logon to the local network and you want sync’d credentials), you can always change the primary email address to reflect their name.

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