Terms of Service
Any website or app that requires a login to use it will have a "Terms of Service" agreement. The agreement is usually linked at the bottom of the app's website. These agreements generally have age requirements in place in order for the site to comply with COPPA (Children's Online Privacy Protection Act) and CIPA (Children's Internet Protection Act) laws. Generally these fall into several categories:
No age requirement: Anyone can use
Must be over 13 (or sometimes 18) to use: Students under the age of 13 (or 18) CAN'T use the site no matter what (even with parent permission)
If under 13 (or sometimes 18), students must have parent permission in order to use: Rather than teachers having to get parent permission every time they find a new app, in GCISD, parents give permission through InfoSnap at registration. Your data secretary can print a report of students who do not have permission.
Even if the app or website touts itself to be educational or you hear another teacher talking about it, it is still your responsibility to be sure that you are in compliance with the terms of service. Terms of Service do change. Some of our former favorite apps like Animoto, Prezi and Haiku Deck no longer allow students under 13 to use the service.
The flowchart at the top gives you an easy to follow sequence for determining if you can use a site or app with your students.