As part of this module, we created a short video using Adobe Voice that explains COPPA. (You can read more about Adobe Voice in my previous post.) Our goal was to help teachers understand COPPA without boring them with a lengthy written explanation. Hopefully, our little video is less dry than the alternatives....
Similar to other districts, ours has struggled in years past with finding a balance between protecting student privacy and empowering teachers to use professional judgement when selecting sites for instructional use and creating student accounts. This year, the Responsible Use Agreement that is part of our Superintendent's Policy includes changes that allow the District to consent on a parent's behalf when a website seeks to collect the name, District-provided email address, and/or birthdate of a child under the age of 13.
This change allows our teachers to easily use sites with kids that require individual student accounts, so long as students and parents have signed this agreement and the site does not collect more than name, email, and birthdate.
If a site needs additional information (such as gender, location, etc.), then teachers send home an opt-out permission form with the site's information, purpose, and what data it collects. If parents do not want their students using the site, they notify the teacher.
We are hopeful that these changes to the Superintendent's Policy will help free teachers to find and implement the best online tools and resources to support their instruction.
How does your district handle the creation of online accounts for students under 13?