My school is embarking on a pilot program where students are able to bring in their own devices starting in the 3rd quarter grading period. As a staff, we are trying to prep for this process by 'beefing up' our knowledge of 2.0 tools and 21st century learning in general.


However, a problem we have stumbled across is the 13-year-old restriction of the COPPA law which restricts companies from collecting information from those under 13.


As a 7th/8th grade middle school, most of our 7th graders are not yet 13; some turn 13 throughout the year; others are just turning 12. We are hoping this snag doesn't hold back our pilot program from being successful; but many of us are unsure where to go because of the info we are getting from administration as far as following this law.


So my question is how are you handling this? Do you feel that this is holding you back? Were you even aware of this? Is there something your school does to 'get around' this problem?



Tags: 2.0tools, 21stCenturyLearning, Technology

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I'm in elementary school so I run in to this problem a lot. In a sense I do feel it holds me back a bit with my 4th and 5th graders, but at the same time I am not sure if they are fully ready to understand the ramifications of creating and cultivating online identities.

I use my blog with them so they can comment but are not required to sign up for anything. I use my Wiki the same way sine Wikispaces allows teachers to create and administer accounts for students, not requiring passwords.

We are about to pilot a program with ePals for email. It'll be interesting to see how it goes.

In general I think it is safest to defer to the "age 13" rule when applicable, just to be safe. Use things like blogs, wikis,, etc for those children under 13.
So basically you stick to those that don't require them to sign up, those that your school may have an account for, or those that you create a teacher account for so their information isn't shared??

I agree it is important for them to be aware of what they are putting out on the web. We have used Common Sense's website for lesson plans to teach our students about their digital footprint and the ramifications of putting all their information out for anyone to see.

There are so many tools out there that I'm dying to use because I think they would be helpful and allow my students to take charge of their own learning a little bit, but I feel held back. I'm trying to use some of the tools myself to show them so that they at least can see them and then use others that allow them to have discussiosn and collaborate as best as I can.
So basically you stick to those that don't require them to sign up, those that your school may have an account for, or those that you create a teacher account for so their information isn't shared??

Yup. Again, I'm k-5 so the oldest students I have are 10 years old. I've used Glogster too, again because I am able to create and administer the accounts myself.

I agree that there are tons of great tools out there. If I were a high school teacher I can only imagine all the things I would be doing. Being hampered by the age limit is a bit frustrating at times, but it forces me to be creative and really think about the tools I'm using.

Life will always prevent problems and limitations, finding ways to work with and within makes for a better experience, in my opinion.

For you, in middle school, I'd start with things you can do without sign-ups. After demonstrating success your school/district might be up for purchasing licenses to other tools that will allow you to work with students under 13.
When I find it necessary to use an age restricted service with my students I create a class account. The students use this communally under a common profile. Frankly, many of my fourth, fifth, and sixth graders ignore the restrictions with their parents consent (I generally check with the parents when I see it). As a teacher, I think it is important to model responsibility though.



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