At DC we recognise the value of certain web-based tools across many areas of student learning. All students have a user account for our Moodle based Virtual Learning Environment (Ding!) and a Google Apps account. For Year 7 and above, many students will be using Goodreads as part of our reading activities as we see great benefits for team-based collaboration in learning.
The advantage of using Goodreads is that it allows students to share, review and discuss books and reading with other people at DC. Teachers, the teacher librarian and/or students can set up accounts and friend each other to see what books other people recommend, want to read, have previously read and more.
From time to time the school will make judgments about which online resources are suitable for our students to use. Some of these have minimum age limits to ensure they are compliant with US law. It is not legal under US law for companies to hold data on people under 13 without parental consent. However, even under US law teachers are allowed to act on behalf of parents in granting permissions and registering accounts for students with these tools within school-based domains. Hong Kong does not make any provision for this, however the school will act to avoid students accessing sites where age restrictions apply due to inappropriate content.
As with all online access there is a small element of risk that students may access some inappropriate content from a third party. We endeavour to provide education about what students should do in these situations and emphasise telling a responsible adult.