Tuesday, March 16, 2010

COPPA cramping your GoogleDocs style?

Hmmm...even though I loved the Pi-day logo design for Google, the Docs have been giving me headaches lately instead of curing them (pun very much intended!). Most recently, due to compliance with COPPA Google Docs has been asking a birthdate question in order to create an account--the cutoff age is 13. I refuse to ask my students to lie about their age online--that is a WHOLE BIG CAN OF WORMS that I just don't want them to open for their own safety.

So anyone that didn't actually do that homework assignment that I gave them in September to create an account and wasn't already 13 as of three weeks ago was very sad. I did find a temporary solution to the problem, and believe me, this solution has its own issues, but it worked in a pinch and allowed my kids to collaborate online with classmates without having an account.

Here's whatcha do (teacher instructions):
1. create the document that you want the kids to work on. Include names, instructions and whatever else you want them to start with, like a topic. You could even keep it a "secret mission" until they open it, adding some excitement.

2. Save it, using a name that your students will easily recognize.

3. click "share" in the upper right corner of the document. Click see who has access>invite people and type the email addresses of the students who have google accounts into the box. Make sure the "to edit" button is clicked.

4.click the people with access tab at the top of the window. click change next to "sign in is required to view this item" and select "let people edit without signing in". click save and close.

5. Click share>get the link to share>


1 comment:

  1. It's important to remember that the link remains publicly editable (not desirable) for as long as you let it. So, it is a good idea to make it viewable and editable by anyone for a VERY SHORT period of time and then deactivate the editing access when the assignment is due.