General Information

What accounts should a volunteer use?

IBM employees are encouraged to use their internal IBM Cloud accounts, which include all Lite services at no charge. Please see more detail in (revised 5/23/18) and feel free to reach out with questions via our IBMVolunteers Slack channel

What accounts should a student or faculty use?

  • Faculty and students who need Lite services are encouraged to use Lite Accounts, see details below
  • If you need access to services that are not available to the Lite accounts, you might consider the IBM Academic Initiative program. These are available to academic institutions such as schools, colleges and universities.
  • If you are engaging with a non-academic institution and need services outside of Lite Accounts, please reach out via our volunteer Slack channel to explore options.

Types of Cloud Accounts for Students/Teachers

What if the kit I have selected requires the audience to have access to the IBM Cloud?

Each kit which requires access to the IBM Cloud should outline the steps for either the Volunteer or for the participant to create an IBM Cloud account. While the model for each kit may be different this FAQ is intended to help you understand the options available for each approach.

The kit I have selected states that each participant will need their own IBM Cloud account. What instructions should I share?

The IBM Cloud Lite account is a free account that never expires. The account is really great for learning about working in the cloud, using Watson, and more. It’s also designed to support building simple projects by combining many components available in IBM Cloud. The account lets you take your time familiarizing yourself with the cloud without having to submit a credit card and never again worrying about if you’ll have enough time to build something. Most of our activity kits use services within Lite accounts.

The Lite accounts are available for IBM Cloud users outside of IBM. You can register for a free IBM Cloud account (Lite) here: Create your IBM Cloud account

IBMers can use their internal IBM Cloud account.

The kit I am using requires services which are not included in the Lite plan. What are my options other than asking participants to convert to a pay-go account which requires a credit card?

Should you require access to a service not available to Lite plan accounts please let us know on the IBM Volunteer Slack channel or #volunteers_general or send a note to for assistance.

I would like to use one of the projects in the Train Your Computer with Machine Learning kit. Where do I find the instructions for using these Cloud-based projects?

The instructions to create an unmanaged class account can be found on the New Teacher / Coding Group Leader tab. The steps you will need to take to create a leader account are detailed on this site. Keep in mind that after setting up your leader account, you will need to login create student accounts/passwords. Follow the detailed instructions available in the Train Your Computer with Machine Learning kit.