Can teachers create github accounts for their students?

I really want to enforce that students use a particular format for their github usernames. Is it possible for teachers to create github accounts for one or more classes (ie, 30-60 students) at one time?



I am not sure what your situation is that would make you want that, but the difficulties you are having with creating a batch of usernames will be out-shadowed by the problems you’ll be facing in helping students dealing with multiple sets of SSH/login-cache keys, forgetting usernames/passwords since they didn’t create them, and countless other pains. Solving your current problem – dealing with arbitrary usernames – is one that loads of people have already dealt with and it’s the easiest to solve, IMO.


I disagree.

Having a way to tie educational institution IdP to Github would make using Github Classroom much easier for rolling it out in beginning CS classes at the middle/high school level. As it stands, last year I had to devote half a class period to getting 7th graders enrolled in Github and then associated with the classroom. Having a federated login solution that perhaps generates a GitHub account linked to say a Gmail or Azure domain accounts which I (as an institution Domain Admin) could then pre-load into the classroom would be exceptionally useful.

P.S. It’s a difficult problem to solve; but not impossible~ I can see where it may not be a service that is feasible to offer without some sort of enterprise subscription payment model.


One of the key elements of GitHub Classroom is to provide “real-world tools to engage students” – as the motto clearly states in the homepage – and help them become proficient developers. Certainly, one of the first steps along this roadmap is to be able to create and manage an account.

That said, I can see how it could be quite unwieldy to deal with a large number of freshmen in CS at once, but this is a part of the game of teaching, I believe, so it’s methodologically fairly relevant and most importantly, as @stevenbitner pointed out, there exist already ways to make it doable with less.


@mstrperson I hope this does not come across as antagonistic, as it is not intended to be so. While I admit to holding a strong pedagogical preference here, I am interested in hearing your side:

What is your rationale for using github with 7th graders?

(I avoid introducing git/github to my 10th-graders, because its complexity so often discourages and distracts from core/conceptual content, sapping precious time along the way… and even integrating g/gh into my 11th grade classroom has to be done with a good deal of care and moderation to minimize these concerns.)

a point to consider, which may be moot for students too young for this to be appropriate:

With github profiles often referenced as resumes, I implore my students to choose usernames they would be proud to show a recruiter for university or workplace. As such, I see it as a feature, rather than a bug, that each student chooses her own.

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I use it with 7th graders because just using the basic functionality of commit messages and pushing code to GitHub aleviates all of the trouble we used to have with continuity of student work stored locally on cart laptops. If we had a windows environment where network home folders mounted reliably, I wouldn’t be using GitHub with the students–but in our Mac based environment, mounting samba shares on login was too unreliable.

P.S. I’ve used GitHub with 9th-12th graders for years just as general habit. I’ve always preloaded as much as possible for them–which is why I jumped on github classroom right away. It does what I used to do ad-hoc with repos and adding students as contributors on my own repos.

I’ve never run into issues where student’s struggled over much with the tools so long as it was a deliberate part of my instruction. Learning GitHub along side the other features of whatever IDE is just part of the course content.

Insight appreciated.