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How to use Webmaker with students age 13 (legal)

  • 15 uphendule
  • 7 zinale nkinga
  • Igcine ukuphendulwa ngu Pat James

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I teach programming classes at a K-8 school in Seattle. To date we've just done Scratch, but for the oldest students, age 13 and 14 in 8th grade, I would like to teach web literacy including HTML, CSS, and Javascript.

I would like to use Webmaker as part of my curriculum, but am concerned over the legal terms and conditions, specifically:

"By using Webmaker, you agree that you are at least 18 years old or are acting with the consent and supervision of your parent; and you have full power, capacity, and authority to accept these Terms on behalf of yourself, or if applicable, your employer or other entity that you represent."

What are the recommendations for complying with this for 13 year old students?

Would it be acceptable to have a signed permission slip? Or is there an even more lightweight or friction-free (ideally paperless) means of establishing "consent and supervision"? Their parents won't really be supervising them: I will, in the classroom.

Thanks and I hope I get a solution to this as this looks like just the ticket to get our class off to a great start!

-Pat James

All Replies (15)

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Hi Pat! Thanks for wanting to use Webmaker for your classroom.

To what I read from your quotes in the Mozilla privacy policy,

and you have full power, capacity, and authority to accept these Terms on behalf of yourself, or if applicable, your employer or other entity that you represent."

From what I understand, you will be able to use Webmaker using a permission slip or by getting confirmation from your employer (principal). That's the only recommendation I have unless an official Mozilla employee wants to clear that up. Most of the people answer questions here are volunteers. The SUMO admins are listed at the Kitsune Champions page.

Okulungisiwe ngu Moses

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Thanks, I sent one of the champions a message to see what they say.

Can anyone think of good reasons why the terms require consent for those under 18? The Children's Online Privacy Act only applies to under 13. Many sites (Facebook, Instagram, etc.) don't allow those under 13 for this reason. What is there in Webmaker that makes it worthy of caution and parental approval for those between 13 and 18?

If I have to get permission slips signed I'd like to be able to tell them why.

Or is this just about lawyers being lawyers?

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Actually, as I am NOT a Mozilla employee or even in ties with Mozilla at all, I do not wish to answer those questions or give any incorrect information. Surely, you understand, right?

However what I can do is this: I am going to post your question onto the Contributors forum of this site, where we discuss topics on improving the site and such where an administrator will give the information needed. You can follow the thread and feel free to jump in whenever you have additional questions.

Here is the thread I posted over your concerns about the legalities of Mozilla's privacy policy

At first I was going to lock this thread, but remember you still needed feedback.

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Hi all,

I'm going to escalate this thread to the Mozilla help desk staffed by employees (administrators). This will insure that an employee has a chance to look at this thread and offer appropriate feedback.

I like how you want to use Webmaker in the classroom, Pat!

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So should I delete the thread in the contributors forum or leave it? I was thinking I would leave it since it is after Helpdesk hours and since SUMO admins are around by 7am my time, they'll provide answers. What do you think?

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IMHO Please leave the thread in the contribs forum. We really do urgently need to sort out this sort of thing. Webmaker has been added to the forum but AFAIK has no dedicated Admin employee taking any responsibility.

That only leaves Madalina or HelpDesk. Although a question like this will presumably be passed to legal by one of the Admins.

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There are some Mozilla Reps that may have some insight with webmaker. I'm not sure if there are any in Seattle but they might be able to help.. Otherwise, the helpdesk should be able to help us here when they respond over the next day or 2 since today is a holiday.

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Thanks all for raising the visibility of this question. I understand the idea of volunteer user-to-user community support and that it is problematic for non-employee volunteers to weigh in on legal questions.

It was not very evident how to go about getting this type of question answered. All of the links to "contact us" and support seem to lead into these forums.

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Hello! I'm the Sr. Director of Webmaker Products and was involved in drafting our TOS. We'll get back to you shortly - meanwhile, you can contact me directly -

Cheers! Brett

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Hi Brett

You may be interested in some of out other conversations about Webmaker. Some of us worry things are going rather badly on Webmaker's use of these fora.

Maybe you are in a position to nominate some staff member to get involved urgently with this situation and coordinate with sumo staff.

Cheers, John

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This issue remains unresolved.

Assuming nothing changes, I guess I will have to go through the process of getting signed permission slips from parents. Really really dislike that I will have to do this for no stated or apparent reason. As far as I can tell it is just a case of attorneys run amok.

I am not a fan of collecting permission slips "just because." The fact that a permission slip is required implies that there is something a parent should examine and weigh whether they want to grant permission. I would like to list on the permission slip what specifically there is in the Webmaker program that a parent should think about before granting permission for their child to participate.

Can anyone tell me what there is in Webmaker that a parent should be made aware of? What specifically are the features, risks, concerns, etc. that should be brought to parents' attention when signing the permission slip?

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Hi Pat,

Did you ever get around to contacting Brett Gaylor, Sr. Director of Webmaker Products?

His e-mail is brett[at]mozillafoundation[dot]org

I also apologize for the amount of time it has taken to resolve this issue.

Okulungisiwe ngu Moses

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I received one response from Brett saying he would look into it. I sent an email followup to see where things stand but have received no further response as of this time.

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Hi Pat,

I contacted Brett and he said he has been in contact with you. You might wanna send another e-mail now just to be sure.

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I guess he is busy. I just sent him (another) email.