Many districts have blocked YouTube because it either served as a distraction or raised concerns over appropriate use. Its new portal, however, offers solutions to teachers.
The Web 2.0 video site launched YouTube for Schools on Dec. 12, which allows schools to sign up for the site’s education channel, YouTube EDU, which previously only hosted videos from colleges and university professors. By joining this site, schools automatically disable certain often distracting features, such as posting comments.
According to a blog post by YouTube in early December, there is increased feedback from educators about wanting to use educational videos without the risk of students viewing inappropriate or unintended material: “We’ve been hearing from teachers that they want to use the vast array of educational videos on YouTube in their classrooms, but are concerned that students will be distracted by the latest music video or cute cat, or a video that wasn’t appropriate for students.”
It isn’t always clear, however, what makes a video educational. While a video’s relevancy depends on which course and grade level is using it, ultimately, if the video is not posted on YouTube EDU, it cannot be accessed by YouTube for Schools.
YouTube worked with teachers and 600 organizations to select content for YouTube EDU. There are more than 400 playlists available, differentiated by grade level and subject. To sign up or learn more about it, visit www.youtube.com/schools.