Terms of Service

Any website or app that requires a login to use it will have a "Terms of Service" agreement.  The agreement is usually linked at the bottom of the app's website.  These agreements generally have age requirements in place in order for the site to comply with COPPA (Children's Online Privacy Protection Act) and CIPA (Children's Internet Protection Act) laws.  Generally these fall into several categories:

No age requirement:  Anyone can use

Must be over 13 (or sometimes 18) to use:  Students under the age of 13 (or 18) CAN'T use the site no matter what (even with parent permission)

If under 13 (or sometimes 18), students must have parent permission in order to use:  Rather than teachers having to get parent permission every time they find a new app, in GCISD, parents give permission through InfoSnap at registration.  Your data secretary can print a report of students who do not have permission.

Even if the app or website touts itself to be educational or you hear another teacher talking about it, it is still your responsibility to be sure that you are in compliance with the terms of service.  Terms of Service do change.  Some of our former favorite apps like Animoto and Haiku Deck no longer allow students under 13 to use the service. 

The flowchart at the top gives you an easy to follow sequence for determining if you can use a site or app with your students.  

Throwback Thursday: Thinglink

I originally posted about Thinglink in 2013 and again earlier this year.  Since we have "gone Google" in GCISD, there is now an easier option for getting students logged in to Thinglink and in your class group.  Now, instead of you having to create logins (that auto-generated a really hard password!), students can login with their GCISD Google account and join your class via a code.  GCISD is also now a Thinglink Verified District so teachers can join our GCISD group to learn and get ideas from each other.

As a reminder, here are some things I love about Thinglink:

  • It can be used in ALL subjects in ALL grades.  
  • It's an easy way for student to "smash" or "layer" products (video or picture) from other apps into one final project.  
  • It's a website and an app. Perfect for 1:1 or BYOD classrooms.
  • It's a great way to combine paper products with digital.  For example: students can draw/illustrate a diagram of the water cycle on paper and then use a picture of it as the background of a Thinglink with video explanations for each phase.

Here's a sample I made:

Here's what the lesson workflow would look like: 

Ready to get started with Thinglink Edu?  Here's a helpsheet with instructions + links to tutorial videos available on YouTube.  https://goo.gl/NCayQT