With many schools blocking access to Youtube as a way to protect students from content that is inappropriate, the online video site yesterday opened a new network that only allows access to content that can be used in the classroom.
The network setting, YouTube for Schools, gives schools the option to sign up with the Web site’s education channel, YouTube EDU. By signing up, schools automatically disable certain features, including the ability to make comments on posted videos, and other distractions to student learning, YouTube announced.
Schools in New York City limit students’ ability to navigate the full Web from computers in classrooms and labs, to prevent the students from seeing or posting content that is not age or subject appropriate. But some educators say the block restricts their ability to use cutting edge – or even routine – materials for their teaching.
YouTube for Schools lets schools access free educational YouTube videos while limiting access to other YouTube content. Students can learn from more than 400,000 educational videos, from well-known organizations like Stanford, PBS and TED, and from up-and-coming YouTube partners with millions of views, like Khan Academy, Steve Spangler Science and numberphile. Schools can also customize their YouTube for Schools experience, adding videos that are only viewable within their school network.
Visit http://YouTube.com/Schools to learn more and sign up today.
A commenter named Bob Drake posted this response to a SchoolBook query, “Should schools limit Internet access?”
“This morning 7th grade students on their iPads discussing Continental Drift could not access an image of Pangea because Google Images is totally blocked by their restrictive browser. Does this level of censorship really benefit the student? Are the kids that age really so immature that they cannot have unfettered access to images?“, Mr Drake added.
Another commenter, Starr Sackstein, the New York State regional director of the Journalism Education Association, said: “I work for a journalism school and the blocks put on the Internet make it challenging for my reporters to do real research.”
Twitter traffic following YouTube’s announcement included some of those criticisms. Reacting to the hashtag, #YouTubeForSchools, Ira Socol tweeted that, “The danger of #YouTubeforSchools is pressure on open YouTube schools to limit access. It’s not all good #edchat.”
Still, Educational Digital Books and Online Knowledge, or @ed_bok, seemed to like the idea, and said that YouTube was offering, “Tons of free #educational content.”