YouTube Introduces School-Friendly Video Service

YouTube has been busy improving its services for quite some time. YouTube has taken a recent initiative to assist teachers and students to get their learning on. ‘YouTube for Schools’ is a new initiative that will help teachers and students to curate educational material and videos on several subjects, such as mathematics and history, while filtering out distracting and disturbing content out.

The new portal is created under a huge demand from teachers and schools across the country. The Head of YouTube EDU, Angela Lin says, “YouTube for schools is a technical solution to allow schools that normally restrict access to YouTube to gain access to it.” The portal is described in one of blog post as:

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. While schools that restrict access to YouTube may solve this distraction concern, they also limit access to hundreds of thousands of educational videos on YouTube that could help bring photosynthesis to life, or show what life was like in ancient Greece.

Moreover, the site will operate as a network setting that enables schools to only grant access to educational material on the YouTube EDU rather than granting access to movie trailers or other esoteric. The entire setting will also get rid of comments and related video recommendations which are not in line with YouTube EDU. But this doesn’t mean at all that students won’t be able to access the irrelevant content through an external 3G or 4G network connection.

Now the question arises what actually is we meant by ‘educational’ for filters to work properly. For instance, a super-cut video or movie clips could possibly be distracting for mathematics class, but relevant to a media-studies class. YouTube for Schools won’t display any video, if it is not on YouTube EDU. Teachers do have a special privilege to add individual playlists which they can easily share with their class. The playlist can be compiled by pulling videos from any part of YouTube. The thought is to give teachers ample stuff to keep students from distracting.

Explaining the importance of YouTube EDU, Angela Lin says, “Video has always been incorporated into classroom teaching. Back when I was a kid it started with VHS and then moved to DVDs, but the idea that we can unlock this vast store of information [on YouTube] that teachers can pull from is really exciting. … I think it’s the next step in the evolution of how video is used in class.”

YouTube seeks the assistance of teachers and 600 organizations, including the Smithsonian and TED, in selecting and finalizing the content for YouTube EDU. The company has sorted out over 400 playlists depending on the grade levels and subjects, such as Science, Math, English, Social Studies and many more.

Google is working hard to make its YouTube platform an open forum. With this initiative, YouTube is setting a certainly aiming to bring a new revolution in the educational sector with its YouTube EDU. The good news is that the service is available for free.

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