I work in a middle school. Students are not allowed to access email in school. I want to teach students to create a personal learning portal -- like an igoogle page but where students don't need an email address to create it -- where they can place a reader for rss feeds, and other educational gadgets, calendars, etc. Any suggestions? Thanks, Rachelle

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You could use Wikispaces (www.wikispaces.com). You can build a page and then create users for that page, you create the usernames and passwords, no need for the students to have email. The students can then build pages off of yours with various tools/widgets/etc.

You could also go with ePals (http://www.epals.com/) which offers free, teacher administrated/moderated (no external email sent or received, teacher must approve all messages, etc) email for students and also has a fee-based online classroom collaboration tool.
Thank you Chris for taking the time to help me! I know Wikispaces but not epals - I will check it out.
You also might want to check out google sites. Or, depending on how ambitious you want to be, google apps. You can deactivate the email (gmail) application but activate the sites feature and docs feature. That's what we did in our district.

Again, this depends a little bit on your technical know how - but you can buy a domain name (cheap - $15 or so) and run the standard edition of Google Apps (which is free). It doesn't need to be google apps for education. And then your students can get access to a whole bunch of google goodies.
Thank you - I will take a look at this. Sounds promising!

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