|Photo Courtesy of MorgueFile User mzacha|
Part of my research into Animoto included looking at the site's Terms of Service. I could not get past this glaring detail as I thought about using the site with K-5 students (generally ages 5 - 11 in the US):
You must be 13 years of age or older to be a User of the Site. By continuing to use the Site, you are warranting that you are at least 13 years old and you have the authority to enter into these Terms of Service. If you do not agree with these Terms of Service, immediately stop using the Site.There is not even a "with parental permission or consent" clause in Animoto's Terms of Service.
Since Animoto has an Animoto for Education site and I've seen the site recommended regularly at conferences and on edtech blogs and websites I read, I thought surely there might be an exception for the education focused branch of the service. But, when I searched the help forums, I found out quite the opposite was true. You can read for yourself the answers to these two questions from the Animoto forums, which confirm that Animoto's policy applies even to education use:
- Can I use Animoto with under 13 years old students? - May 6, 2011
- I am a teacher wanting to register students younger than 13. Do I use their real names and ages? - June 11, 2010
So, what are your school's or district's policies on the use of Animoto, or really any web tool, that according to the site's Terms of Service should not be used with children under 13 years old?
And if you do allow students under 13 to use such sites, how do you reconcile that decision with the fact that you expect students and teachers to follow your own district policies, whether they be technology acceptable use policies or general school/district rules and policies?
Please post your answers in the comments. I look forward to the conversation!
NOTE: You can post a comment anonymously if you have used Animoto with students under 13 and want to share your thoughts on it but don't want to identify yourself.