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May Community Academy's 5th and 6th grade students are fortunate to be recipients of a 1:1 iPad initiative. Please follow our journey!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Linking First Class Accounts to the iPad Mail Icon

All students in grades 5-8 enrolled in Chicago Public Schools have access to the collaboration tool First Class which includes an email address for students to collaborate and communicate with other students and teachers within the system.  As we've continued down our journey of iPad integration in our 5th and 6th grade classrooms we've come to the conclusion that student emails needed to be linked to the mail app.  This is not an easy process.

Thanks to Ms. Kelly and Ms. Shea from Brownell School for walking us through the steps.  Here she is...in all her glory.

Step 1:  Before even attempting to configure the iPads a couple of things need to be in place.  To begin, each student needs to have an active First Class account.  CPS has started to deactivate accounts if they haven't been utilized in an extended period of time.  A call to Tech Excel to ask them to activate all school accounts was unsuccessful.  What was needed was an excel spreadsheet which contained the name, username, and I.D. for every student in 5th and 6th grade.  This took a minute to compile.  After it was complete the process involves calling Tech Excel to open a ticket.  When this is done I was instructed to send the excel spreadsheet to cpssdteamleads@cps.k12.il.us.

Step 2: While waiting for Tech Excel to make sure all accounts were active I proceeded to the next step.  I needed to create a new email account to serve as my "outgoing" mail server.  First Class won't work as the outgoing server (don't ask me why).  I set up a gmail account.  Its my understanding that all of the emails students send to others from their iPads will show up in this account.  This will help to cut down on the emails that may not be related to education.  All of the teachers involved in this initiative will have access to this account.

Step 3:  Begin by selecting the mail icon on your iPad.  You'll see a "Welcome to Mail" screen that gives you choices such as Microsoft Exchange, Gmail, Yahoo, Aol, etc.  I selected "other".

Step 4: The next screen asks for your name, email address, password, and description.  This is where the students would input their First Class information and select 'next'.

Step 5: The next screen should have "IMAP" highlighted in blue at the top.  The First Class information entered on the previous screen is already populated in the first section of this page.  For the Incoming Mail Server section enter fc.cps.edu.  You enter your First Class username and password as well.  For the Outgoing Mail Server you enter "smtp.gmail.com" (if Gmail is the email you set up).  Enter the username and password for that account.  Select next.  You'll see a "verifying" prompt at the top of the page.  This will take a few minutes.  A prompt may come up for IMAP that has the mail radio button 'on'.  Select 'save' to have the account added.  If you happen to get a pop up that says "Cannot Verify Server Setting" select "continue" and proceed.

Step 6: There is one final step to check.  After the account has been added click the Home button.  Click on Settings.  Select Mail, Contacts, Calendars.  Under "accounts" near the top select "Cps".  This will bring you to an IMAP screen.  Select Account to see the IMAP Account Information.  Select "Advanced".  Make sure SSL is turned on.  Happy iPad emailing!

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