7 Replies Latest reply on Mar 4, 2010 8:40 PM by glen_w

    Terms of Use: What's with the "over 13" requirement?

      At various times, I end up compiling online resources for teachers to use with the students. I'm always in a quandary over how to reconcile the fact that many sites state that you have to be over 13 to register--and then at the same time, say how great the tool is to use in education. For instance, Google Docs require you to be over 13 (http://docs.google.com/View?docid=dcdn7mjg_72nh25vq and in their terms of use), but at the same time promote using Google Presentation in a K-3 lesson plan (http://docs.google.com/View?id=ddv49vkt_17fgvtqscd). So what gives? Do we just ignore the legal mumbo jumbo? How do I recommend a site for "illegal" use? I'm so confused... Any suggestions?

        • Re: Terms of Use: What's with the "over 13" requirement?

          Jodi, I share your pain!  A few teachers that I know (3rd grade)  have their own blog.  Every morning the teacher will log in to the blog, post a question and then the students will post during the day.  The teacher has given the students a number and they use that number to identify their posts.  I don't know if that's any help.

          • Re: Terms of Use: What's with the "over 13" requirement?



            I think the heart of this question is based on the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA). When this law was passed, it set up the requirement of age 13 for children's privacy. The basis of this seems to be based on marketing. I think many sites are therefore quite strict to avoid the possibility of being charged with violation of COPPA. I'm curious in learning how many schools and districts have developed a password protected site that allows student blogging, wikis, etc.

              • Re: Terms of Use: What's with the "over 13" requirement?
                Bonnie Feather

                I'm sure you are right about COPPA and also the CIPA requirement for schools and libraries.  (Children's Internet Protection Act.) But I had never really noticed the discrepancy before.  If Google Docs has this in their user agreement, yet recommends it for use with younger children, it does seem as though they are just giving lip service to the requirements- covering themselves legally, but really ignoring it.


                Am I reading this right?


                It might be that Google does not perceive a discrepancy if they make you agree to be 13 to use the Docs, but teachers are recommended to use Presentation- as it using it to make presentations in their teaching, which they would see as quite different from allowing or encouraging their students younger than 13 to use it.


                I agree, this is quite confusing!

                  • Re: Terms of Use: What's with the "over 13" requirement?

                    I've not seen the "Promotion of Google Docs" for youth. I often read the TOS (Terms of Service) just to see what different sites / programs require. The TOS is what you are required to "check" that you agree to their terms of service. (If you want to have fun sometime - read the TOS when you next install software .) I find the following to be very interesting in the Google TOS - to sign up for a gmail account:


                       2.3 You may not use the Services and may not accept the Terms if (a) you are not of legal age to form a binding contract with Google, or (b) you are a person barred from receiving the Services under the laws of the United States or other countries including the country in which you are resident or from which you use the Services.


                    NOTE ... it does not indicate what the "legal age to form a binding contract with Google" is. Does this imply you must just meet the COPPA requirement of age 13? Or - as another teacher asked Does this mean you cannot sign up for a Google account unless you are age 18?

                    • Re: Terms of Use: What's with the "over 13" requirement?

                      You're absolutely right. Yesterday I tried creating a Google account and put my age as 10. It returned a one-line response (you must meet certain age requirements) with a link to the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (http://www.ftc.gov/privacy/privacyinitiatives/childrens.html).


                      Of course, they do have their Google Apps Education Edition that can be installed at the school or district level--then they can push all of those privacy issues onto the school, and then there's no minimum age requirement. This is from the Education Edition's terms of use:


                      Customer acknowledges and agrees that it is solely responsible for compliance with the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act of 1998, including, but not limited to, obtaining parental consent concerning collection of students' personal information used in connection with the provisioning and use of the Services by the Customer and End Users. (http://www.google.com/apps/intl/en/terms/education_terms.html)


                      It's free right now, but looks like Google will be charging for it in the future.


                      But still...I'm finding so few web 2.0 tools that can legally be used by elementary students directly. I'm just wondering if teachers are just finding a way around those requirements (e.g., signing up for their students and providing the login information to them) or, like Glen suggests, just bringing some of these tools in-house within a password-protected school environment. I imagine it's pretty confusing to individual teachers who are just trying to get some collaboration going in their classrooms.

                        • Re: Terms of Use: What's with the "over 13" requirement?

                          Judi- I think that this is why many districts like using a Learning Management System like Moodle or Blackboard so they can have everything in a secure environment. In addition - I was having a discussion with Shell regarding the different Web 2.0 sites and not all of them are age appropriate because of content that can be submitted by others.  I imagine this is where the teacher creates her account and they use things as a whole class instead of individual students accessing information.


                          Great discussion! I wonder what other solutions are out there.

                            • Re: Terms of Use: What's with the "over 13" requirement?

                              My school has moved to a Moodle environment. There are many options we can do behind the "password protection" of the site. While I like many of the web 2.0 tools - and use them regularly, there are problems in how others may use the sites. I, for example, direct my students to the "create" section of Wordle instead of going to the main site. I never know what kinds of Wordles might be visible on the main page and must protect my students when possible. It would be incredible if teachers could "embed" such web 2.0 tools in a Moodle or Blackboard environment for students to use within the "safety guidelines."


                              Is there anyone who has found a way to embed and use any web 2.0 tools in either Moodle or Blackboard?