Configuring sharing options for students using App Lab, Game Lab, and Web Lab

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This article goes over frequently asked questions related to being able to enable and disable a student's ability to share their App Lab, Game Lab, and Web Lab projects. 

What are App Lab, Game Lab, and Web Lab? 

App Lab, Game Lab, and Web Lab are programming environments designed to allow students to easily create applications, games, interactive animations, and websites. They are primarily used in our CS Discoveries and CS Principles courses but are also available as standalone tools to be used outside our curriculum.

We consider App Lab, Game Lab, and Web Lab to be our "advanced" tools because they are designed for older students and allow students to personalize and customize their creations through writing free-form text, uploading images and sounds, etc. These tools are available to students who are 13 years or older or are in a teacher's section.  

How I can block my students from sharing their App Lab, Game Lab, and Web Lab projects? 

An important part of the student experience of using Code.org is the ability to share their projects and creations with others. But if you are concerned about students sharing their App Lab, Game Lab, and Web Lab projects with others, you can disable sharing of advanced project tools for your entire section. Follow these steps:

  1. Sign into Code.org and navigate to "My Dashboard."
  2. Click the section name of the section you want to disable sharing for. 
  3. Go to the "Manage Students" tab.
  4. Scroll to the bottom of the page and click on the button that says "Disable sharing projects for all students."

Once you click the Disable button, the button should switch to saying "Enable sharing projects for all students." 

What happens if I block my students from sharing their App Lab, Game Lab, and Web Lab projects? 

If you disable your students from sharing their App Lab, Game Lab, and Web Lab projects, the following will happen:

  • If students click the "Share" button from their project, they will not be given their share link and instead be told why they cannot share. 
  • If someone (other than the student or their Code.org teacher) tries to access the share link or the "View code" link for one of the students' projects, they will not be able to. Instead, they will see an error message on that page.
  • Students will no longer see the ability to "Publish" their App Lab and Game Lab projects from their projects list to the Public Gallery (Note: Students already cannot publish their Web Lab projects). 
  • If the students previously published their App Lab, Game Lab, or Web Lab projects to the Public Gallery, these projects will be removed from the gallery until their ability to share is re-enabled. 

I disabled sharing of the advanced project types for my section, but some of my students can still share. What's going on? 

If one of the students in your section are still able to share, check the following: 

  • Is the student still in your section? It is possible that they removed themselves from your section and therefore no longer have their advanced project sharing abilities disabled. 
  • If you go to the "Manage Students" tab for your section, does the button still say "Disable sharing projects for all students?" If the button says "Disable" instead of "Enable," that means at least one of the students in your section does have the ability to share their projects. This can happen if your student is in another teacher's section who enabled sharing for their section. You can override this by clicking the "Disable sharing projects for all students" again. 

Why does this feature only block sharing for App Lab, Game Lab, and Web Lab? What about other tools like Play Lab and Artist?

We wanted to provide teachers with the ability to block sharing for App Lab, Game Lab, and Web Lab projects because these tools give students freedom to do things like write free-form text and upload images and sounds. While these features are important to let students build creative and advanced projects, they also open up the opportunity for students to create projects that may be inappropriate, personal, or otherwise not within your school's rules on sharing.

Our other tools are designed for younger students with the appropriate level of privacy built in for this age group. For example, while a student can share a cool looking star or spiral in Artist, students can't upload a picture, use any artist tools to write words, etc. In the few places where we do allow some text entry, we automatically disable sharing of projects if we detect that the text contains information like phone numbers or email addresses.

In addition, we protect your student's privacy on all projects in the gallery (App Lab, Game Lab, Artist, Play Lab, etc.) by making sure anything they do share is anonymous. In the gallery, they are listed only with an age range and the first letter of the student's name. 

Can I specify exactly which students should be allowed to share or not share their advanced projects? 

Right now, we only have a single button to quickly toggle sharing on or off for all of the students in your section. We are actively working on being able to do this on a per student level so that you can choose exactly which students can and cannot share. We will update this article once that feature is available! 

 

 

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