Terms and Conditions: Revisiting eduClipper!

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                If you have been following my blog for a little while now, you know that I am a fan of the online social media platform eduClipper.  What I like about the platform is that it is a place for both teachers and students to come together to explore, share, and contribute resources to help enhance teaching and learning of both formal and personal nature.  My personal reflections on the platform addressed any initial concerns of such a specific social media platform by showing how great the service really helps with needs that cannot be met on other platforms like Pinterest.  Today, I would like to discuss eduClipper’s Terms of Service; specifically in regards to ethical implications and how eduClipper has addressed them.

The most obvious ethical implication to consider with a platform like eduClipper is the fact that it is marketed to students as well as teachers.  With students using the platform, there are a lot of unique elements to consider and eduClipper has done a great job of safeguarding itself against these potential ethical pitfalls.  At the very top of the Terms of Service in BOLD with the word “IMPORTANT!,” is a statement about the use of eduClipper by people under the legal age to form a binding contract.  eduClipper insists that students must review this information with their parents before using the platform, safeguarding themselves from any potential problems with minors using the service.

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                The Terms of Service for eduClipper are well written, thoughtful, and fairly digestible for the average reader (unlike Facebook).  Right from the beginning, the Terms are identified as a binding contract between you and the service.  Other issues within the contract are addressed by answering a basic question the user might have about their experience.  In particular, I liked the way eduClipper addressed privacy and potential copyright infringement.  These aspects are presented in a way that asks a given question consumers may very well have before using the service.  Amusingly, eduClipper has also included a “congratulations” message to the reader at the bottom of its terms in appreciation for actually finishing reading them.

Overall, I think eduClipper has done a very good job of addressing potential ethical problems associated with its use.  The Terms of Service are well written and ask the questions that consumers may very well have.  If I were to make any constructive criticism, I suppose it would actually be with the aesthetics.  eduClipper really is a very “good looking” site for the most part with the exception of this section.  While I understand that this is more of a contract than an actual extension of the experience on eduClipper, it still might make it a little easier to read if it were as good looking as the rest of the site.

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4 thoughts on “Terms and Conditions: Revisiting eduClipper!

  1. Jake,

    Many sites make their Terms and Conditions less attractive than the rest of their websites, which I find odd as well. If you truly want users to know what they are signing up for as well as their rights on the sites, you should be willing to put in the extra effort while designing it.

    I like that you did a “niche” platform that you have worked on before especially one that encourages use from two very different age demographics since that obviously causes some ethical and legal questions. It’s good to hear that eduClipper has taken steps to avoid some of the issues that could arise. I also get that anyone under the age of 18 should have a parent/guardian approve their use of the site, but as an educational website it might make sense to provide a version of the Ts&Cs that is easier for students to digest. This can be an educational tool on its own.

  2. With us not being in the same class last semester, I’m not familiar with eduClipper but I’m excited to try them out. Like you pointed out, it is important that this platform have students review the terms with their parents. That’s not something you’d normally see but for this platform it makes a lot of sense.

    You mentioned that this area of the eduClipper site was not very appealing. I know companies don’t spend a lot of time creating these pages. At my last job I would take the word document from our legal department and simple copy and paste the text onto our terms page. That was it. It’s not a very frequented page for a normal website and maybe not even for a social media platform. I do think social media platforms should pay more attention to these areas and make them visually more pleasing so that it may attract more people than it does now.

  3. Thanks ladies! It seems like we all agree that these pages could use a bit of a makeover. I was reading Twitter this morning and I saw Justin tweet some of the ideas that our class had for making these pages better. I really liked two of them: the first was the infographic idea. I must admit, since starting this course, I have grown quite fond of the infographic for its ease of reading and ability to still be very informative. I think something like this would be a great idea, especially for pointing out “do’s and don’ts” for example. The other idea I really liked was posting a video explaining these rules. We do this at my University with Policies and Procedures for the students all the time. Though, I have to question myself…. If we are using this method of delivery, is it already as antiquated as everything else we do digital media wise? I hope not! haha

  4. Ah, dealing with a younger audience can be incredibly tricky. I’m pretty well versed in the finer details of dealing with the under 13 crowd (and often avoiding them altogether) as one of my former clients had a great deal of young female fans. There are so many things to take into consideration, it can make marketing a complete nightmare. So good on eduClipper for addressing that right off the bat.

    I’m with you guys. Sometimes I think websites go out of their way to make the legal jargon as confusing and unpalatable as possible. They know you probably won’t read it, and don’t want to encourage you to do so. Why rock the boat, after all? They already have hoards of people agreeing to the terms blindly. I have noticed, however, that some sites that require signing legal documents how have it built in to the page that you have to at least scroll down to the bottom before clicking continue. I wonder if they think that will make people read? And I wonder if it ever works.

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