Age Restrictions

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Age Restrictions Learningteacher 8/20/09 7:10 PM
We currently have Google Apps Education in our school. Our teachers in the elementary and middle school have expressed a great interest in using Google Docs in the classroom. I read on the web that there is a age restriction of 13. Is there anything in the terms of service that indicates this and what is Google's position on using Google docs in  k-5 classrooms. There are some great lessons but our teachers are hesitate about using it because of the age restrictions.

Any help would be greatly appreciated......Thank you.....

Please advise .....
Re: Age Restrictions Advisor Dana 8/21/09 1:03 PM
Hi there,

If you are using Google Docs within Google Apps Education Edition for your school domain, your school assumes the responsibility for complying with COPPA and the information that students submit. When offering online services to children under 13, schools must be cognizant of Child Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA).  COPPA is a regulation that requires parental consent for the online collection of information about users under 13.  Per the Google Apps Education Edition Agreement, any school administering Google Apps Education Edition acknowledges and agrees that it is solely responsible for compliance with COPPA, including, but not limited to, obtaining parental consent concerning collection of students' personal information used in connection with the provisioning and use of the Services by the Customer and End Users.

Parental consent and notification could take place in form of a permission slip granting use of Google Apps and/or other technology services at the school. For more information on complying with COPPA see the FTC's website at

Re: Age Restrictions Learningteacher 8/26/09 11:07 PM
Thank you... So based on your response... As long as we obtain parental consent ( permission slips), we are ok to use Google Docs with our k-5 students........ We basically want to use it for collaborative writing and science data collection....
Thank you
Re: Age Restrictions Advisor Dana 8/27/09 9:43 AM
Hi there,

If you are referring to Google Docs within the Google Apps Education Edition Suite (i.e., then yes, as long as comply with COPPA which requires parental consent.

Re: Age Restrictions ClassroomTeacher 9/6/09 4:21 PM

As a seventh grade teacher in a public school district, is it possible for me to use Google Docs via my own permission slip coupled with the parental consent of the district's online policy?  
Re: Age Restrictions ldelabruere 9/15/09 7:27 PM
We have been  using Google Apps with our 7-8 grade students as a "digital locker"  for 2 years.  The school does not "include any personally identifiable information in the students First Name and Last Name.  We use to use their locker number as a student number (but this year they took lockers away).
We teach students "not" to post personally identfiable information. 
We also have a "rights and responsibility" sheet that we have the parents, student, and home room teacher sign.
Here is a link to this Rights and Responsibility Form that we all sign
Re: Age Restrictions (unknown) 2/2/10 5:21 AM
This replay is in reference to using with middle school students. Once the school has gone through the process of complying with COPPA and getting parent pemission, how do we notify Google? Do we need to check a certain box when creating accounts? How will Google know we can bypass the age restriction requirement? 
Re: Age Restrictions kgerard 2/9/10 6:55 AM
I can't use GoogleApps for our domain because we don't manage our own domain (we use Echalk), so for the last few years (since GoogleDocs was Writely) I've been having my 4th and 5th graders set up regular GoogleDocs accounts with their school email accounts. They don't use most other features associated with these accounts, but the docs feature is very useful. (In addition, many students have their own Gmail accounts which they set up with parental guidance at home.)

Now the account setup page requires a birthdate, which tells my students they are not old enough for an account, and I'm not sure how to proceed. We get parental permission, and COPPA doesn't seem to apply here because my students are not giving any personal information. I want them to have access to GoogleDocs, but would prefer not to break the law, and also don't want to manage GoogleApps for a new domain.

I'll be grateful for any advice you can offer!
Re: Age Restrictions millerj.surpise 2/11/10 3:56 AM

According to COPPA, the LEA can give access to students under 13 years old, without parental consent. The school/teacher/district can issue accounts at anytime and still be compliant with COPPA.

55. Does COPPA apply to website operators that contract with schools to provide online services involving the collection, use or disclosure of students’ personal information?

Many school districts contract with third-party website operators to offer online programs solely for the benefit of their students and for the school system, e.g., homework help lines or web-based testing services. COPPA does not apply to the website operator’s collection of personal information from participating children where a school has contracted with an operator to collect personal information from students for the use and benefit of the school, and for no other commercial purpose. Thus, the operator is not required to obtain consent directly from parents, and can presume that the school’s authorization for the collection of students’ personal information is based upon the school having obtained the parents’ consent. The operator should, however, provide the school with full notice of its collection, use, and disclosure practices, so that the school may inform parents of these practices in its Acceptable Use Policy.

Re: Age Restrictions MisterL 5/4/10 9:22 AM
 We are a totally online school. We want to use Google Apps for all of our students, k through 12.  More specifically, we are moving to Google Apps to give them email accounts. We use our own domain and will use Postini Services as well. We do not ask for, nor do we collect, any type of personal information from our students. The accounts will be for communication between students, teachers, and administrators.  Can anyone understand why we would need to get written consent from parents for this?  I don't get it. 

Re: Age Restrictions bkywlkr 6/15/10 7:48 AM
If we are a k-12 educational organization, is the parental consent for the collecting of personal information on our end for account provisioning or on Google's end?
Re: Age Restrictions tsummerville 7/13/10 9:50 AM
I am setting up a separate domain for my middle school students using Google Apps Education Edition. Does anyone have a sample Parental Consent Form that you don't mind sharing?
Re: Age Restrictions Shai Gluskin 10/4/10 6:35 AM
Google Employee Dina, above, says that the school can take charge of COPPA compliance without need for specific parental approval for Google Apps.

Dina or someone else, can you explain what is supposed to happen a child 13 or under first logs in and is prompted to accept the Google Apps Terms of Service?

Is the teacher just supposed to say... "just 'accept' because the school is taking responsibility for that"?

Re: Age Restrictions Mr Allen 12/5/10 5:14 AM
Idelabruere, I've tried to follow the link you provided to see the Rights and Responsibilities Form you mention, but can't get it using the link you gave.  Could you check that the document is still there and that it is available for public viewing?

If anybody else has any other examples of Parental Consent forms, Student Contracts, Home/School Agreements or anything related to this issue, I'd be very interested.  You can email me on if you prefer.

Re: Age Restrictions dmpellow 2/28/11 10:04 AM
COPPA governs "operators" of websites operated for commercial purposes. It does not apply to nonprofit organizations that are not subject to Section 5 of the Federal Trade Commission Act. Has anyone been shown a legal interpretation that says school districts are subject to Section 5 of the FTC Act and are  "operators" for purposes of COPPA with respect to their own websites?
Re: Age Restrictions Mark Kelly 8/17/11 9:41 PM
And what is the answer for Australian schools which do not have things like COPPA?
Re: Age Restrictions Sm06 2/28/12 9:26 PM
Hi, just wondering if you've had any response about this for Australian schools? We are K12 and would like to use Google Docs. Thanks.
Re: Age Restrictions Destiny Norice 5/21/13 8:50 AM
Do you how to be a teacher to sign up for Google Doc?
Re: Age Restrictions Sarah Martabano 9/26/13 1:48 PM

Please help us all understand how you bypass the checkbox on log in once COPA and CIPA compliance has been assured.

Re: Age Restrictions Anthony___ 10/17/13 1:00 AM
I would like to add to the comment from the Australian teacher on how this applies internationally. The age specific part of the form clearly suggests that students should be 13 + but at the same time all the legislation is US based.

I work in an international school based in the Czech Republic. How does this effect us? Is there a google based policy for the rest of the world? How does this work in both google apps (with own domain) and a standard google account? Any help on this topic would be really appreciated. Thank you.

Anthony Constable
Re: Age Restrictions danese caley 1/4/14 8:29 AM
Once consent is obtained, how do we bypass the age limit when creating user accounts or notify google to create accounts for those users under 13?
Re: Age Restrictions No Substitute 5/13/14 4:14 AM
It sure would be nice with some feedback on this.
How does one use GAFE with under-13s after acquiring parental consent, hence being in compliance with COPPA?
How do I let pupils use for example G+ without putting in their age?
Re: Age Restrictions Shaun Fuller 7/22/14 9:12 PM
Please advise on using Google Apps for education in primary school - how do we bypass the age requirements... Australian Catholic Primary School.
khushbu shah 2/13/15 3:15 AM <This message has been deleted.>
khushbu shah 3/10/15 2:00 AM <This message has been deleted.>
Re: Age Restrictions Denise L Cavigielli 9/9/15 11:50 AM

The school district my children attend uses the following statement as consent to use Google Classroom: “The ..... School District (DRPSD) may provide the privilege of internet access, desktop computers, mobile computer or devices, videoconferencing capabilities, online collaboration capabilities, email, video broadcasting and more.”……….As new technologies emerge, DRPSD will seek to provide access to them. The policies outlined in the document cover all available technologies now and into the future, not just those specifically listed or currently available.”  Google Apps is not listed within their current document.  

Do they need explicit consent or is a general statement enough to cover use of Google Apps?
Re: Age Restrictions Rebecca Williamss 9/21/15 4:20 PM
This thread started in 2009, but still seems unanswered in 2015...really?????
Re: Age Restrictions Lester J Brent 3/2/16 9:32 AM
If you are trying to use Docs or another Google App with a gmail account and a student who is under 13, you cannot. You need to have your school setup Google Apps For Education. As a teacher you will not be able to do this.

Google Apps For Education (GAFE) contains a set of apps that can be used by those under 13. When creating a GAFE account, the school assumes liability to comply with COPPA/FERPA (in the USA). GAFE gives students access to Docs, Sheets, Slides, Email, Calendar, and other core apps. When you move out of the core apps to Youtube, Google+, etc.., you are no longer covered under the GAFE agreement and students must be 13 years or older to participate. 

Age is never questioned with GAFE accounts as the school sets up all accounts in a control panel and assigns Google apps they can and cannot access. There is an agreement screen that pops up the first time they log in. They can click through that agreement. The language from that agreement should be included in some type parental consent from to cover your bases.

That should cover it all.
Re: Age Restrictions Mikasa Nikiforov21 1/5/17 5:48 PM
Hey I have problems with my computer with Chrome. It won't let me through because I have to be asked by a family member in email. And I'm 15 years old. Please help me get rid of it!
Re: Age Restrictions Mark Loundy 1/6/17 7:44 AM

Are you using Chrome with a personal account or a school account? If you're using a school account, you need to use your school-assigned login, you cannot use a personal account.

Mark Loundy

Instructional Technology Specialist
Google Certified Educator, Level 2
De Vargas Elementary School
Cupertino (Calif.) Union School District
Re: Age Restrictions DaveIstanbul 3/13/17 12:02 PM
I think you might need to be careful. My school exclusively uses Google Apps and until now have been very happy with it. Today we have crashed. 

Previously I had introduced my class to our website on googledocs, they have their own email accounts and so could use my Hangouts in IT time to have chats. We had completed an eSafety unit and then a Blogging unit. Since finishing the units I closed down the Hangouts associate with the class website because I didn't want to be monitoring the students' interactions all the time. However, I have today learnt that the kids have all gone off and made their own hangouts(because they can on their email accounts) and ... anyone can access them if they have a valid email address of someone in the school. I am greatly concerned about outsiders to gatecrash my students hangouts. 
So not only if we are giving kids email address we need 1) to get the consent of the parents otherwise we have total liability if something goes wrong 2) we need to find out how we can limit the kids access as we need to protect them if our little network gets breached.

Re: Age Restrictions Mark Loundy 3/13/17 12:37 PM

Absolutely. That's why our I.T. team takes multiple measures to protect everybody against technical threats and our district legal counsel protects us against liability issues.

Mark Loundy

Instructional Technology Specialist
Google Certified Educator, Level 2
De Vargas Elementary School
Cupertino (Calif.) Union School District

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Re: Age Restrictions Steph2911 7/12/17 5:27 PM
I don't know of any district that has asked for parental consent for their child to use GSuite. Tons of districts are GSuite K-12. This is the first I've ever heard of that being a requirement or expectation.

Now, when it comes to apps like Google+, Blogger, Sites, Hangout, and some others that fall under more of a social media sort of tool I see us pausing to determine the appropriateness. Some apps only teachers have access to, but students don't, for example. That's my 2 cents. 

I was reading this thread because I'm concerned about K-5 students using Blogger since they have to create a profile and can easily publish with whatever settings they want. It seems that you can't just set up students as able to comment/participate on a teacher's class blog without them also having the ability to create their own blogs. Any insight would be most appreciated.
Re: Age Restrictions Amanda Finkler 7/31/17 10:27 AM
I believe the GAFE administrator can turn on or off any apps they do not want the students using with their school account.  They should still be able to access the teacher's blog without creating their own.  
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