2.13.2009

Let Your Computer Do the Work: Creating Multiple PBwiki Accounts Using iMacro

PBwiki has a nice feature that enables teachers to create accounts for their students, without requiring email addresses. However, if one doesn't want to use PBwiki's randomly-generated usernames and passwords, each student's data needs to be manually entered. This can get real old real quick when a teacher needs to enter several classes worth of students (or an entire grade level as the case was for me). So why not have the computer do the work for you? By utilizing the iMacro add-on for Firefox, you can do just that.

iMacros was designed to automate the most repetitious tasks on the web. If there’s an activity you have to do repeatedly, just record it in iMacros. The next time you need to do it, the entire macro will run at the click of a button! With iMacros, you can quickly and easily fill out web forms, remember passwords, create a webmail notifier, download information from other sites, scrape the Web (get data from multiple sites), and more.

From the iMacro Download Page

iMacros can be created either by recording a users actions or by hand (i.e. a user writes the code herself). The iMacro I used to create PBwiki student accounts was a combination of methods; where recording failed, I coded. Also, recording is limited to actions performed in the browser, so pulling data from an external source (e.g. database of student login information) always requires manual input of code.

So you don't know how to program, huh? Don't despair. Head over to my tutorial, Creating PBwiki Student Accounts Using iMacro, for a sample script that you can customize for your own wiki. Easy peasy. After all, teachers don't get paid the big bucks so that they can waste their time doing data-entry or debugging scripts...that's why I get paid the big bucks.

Tutorial:Creating PBwiki Student Accounts Using iMacro
PBwiki Blog: Classroom Accounts for Students

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