YouTube Lets Schools Opt for Educational Videos

| October 10, 2011 | 22 Comments
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Flickr:www_ukberri_net

Teachers who have been frustrated over blocked access to YouTube educational videos in school can take heart. YouTube is rolling out a pilot a program with schools that will redirect all YouTube links to educational content on YouTube.com/education. In addition, comments will be disabled and related videos will only be educational, both of which are a source of anxiety around exposing kids to inappropriate content.

Each school and district has a different kind of filtering system, but this workaround allows schools that block YouTube at the domain level to access it through YouTube.com/education, according to Angela Lin, head of YouTube Edu. Schools interested in participating in the pilot program can sign up at YouTube.com/t/education.

“We need to give educators and administrators the tools and resources they need and have them decide what’s best for their students.”

YouTube plans to add hundreds of thousands of more educational videos onto the /edu site (which was launched two years ago), including videos from the Museum of Modern Art, BBC Earth, the Smithsonian, Big Think, and many more. Until now, most of the content on /edu has revolved around higher education, with lectures from MIT, UCLA, U.C. Berkeley and other universities (with the very notable exception of the Khan Academy videos, which are aimed at K-12). Newly added content will be focused more on K-12 curriculum, as well as post-college content — what’s referred to as “lifelong learning.”

“We recognize there is demand for educational video, and we’re trying to provide access to it, as well as catalyze content creation,” Lin said.”Ultimately we need to give educators and administrators the tools and resources they need and have them decide what’s best for their students.”

Solving the access issue, adding more educational content, and launching the YouTube Teachers site a few weeks ago are all part of the world’s largest video site’s foray into the education space.

A “handful of school” across the country have signed up for the pilot program, Lin said. “As with anything at Google, this is iterative. We want to get the product right, the experience right. Any change can be onerous at schools that are already tight for time and resources,” she said. “We’re trying to enable more content creators and users to think about us as an educational platform.”

Read more about blocked Web sites and facts about what filtering policies.

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  • Michael Cortes

    I would have like it a bit better if they had used a different domain name such as youtube.edu to open up this content to schools.  The most rudimentary filters block on on domain name and by catering to that type of filtering, you open the educational content to those who need it the most.

    • http://edsurge.com mattwbowman

      Couldn’t agree more, Michael. I hope Angela Lin is reading.

    • George Gardei

      Only a qualifying school or colleges can get a .EDU domain. Organizations tailoring to education software or services can not use .EDU

      • Yorgus

        Most K-12 schools and districts are unable to get .edu domains, which are ostensibly reserved for post-secondary institutions. I know there are exceptions, but most of them are the result of grandfathering (or fudging when applying for a .edu domain). As a result, most schools are in the k12.xx.us domain for their state, or .org.

        Seems to me that if they let all the diploma mills into the .edu space, they should allow public and private K-12 schools in; after all, we are education providers.

  • Lfokp

    Check http://Utubersity.com which presents the best educational videos available on Youtube in an organized, easy to find way to watch and learn.
    They are classified and tagged in a way that enables people to find these materials more easily and efficiently and not waste time browsing through pages of irrelevant search results.
    The website also enhances the experience using other means such as recommending related videos, wikipedia content and so on.
    There’s also a spanish version called http://utubersidad.com

    • Guest

      You’ve missed the point of the article. All the utubersity site does is contain links to You Tube videos. If you Tube is blocked, which many schools such as the one I administer does, then the links on this site will also be blocked.

      • Lfokp

        Maybe I need to clarify myself.
        I think that website is a rather good idea and Youtube should
        work on a similar project with a separate domain (Youtubersity?) to host
        educational videos of quality with related content from Wikipedia, Wolfram-Alpha
        etc. and curated by academics.

      • Bodnarn

        If your web filter lets you examine the http request header, you can possibly put in an exception based on the referral field. This works well for embedded youtube videos. So a rule like request.header.referral=”utubersity.com” ALLOW would possibly work.

        Now if the videos aren’t embedded, it may still work but only for one video in. Once you watch that video on youtube, clicking any related videos from THAT page would fail because now the referral is “youtube.com”.

    • Yorgus

      at uTubersity.com I would have expected an institution of learning for potatoes.

  • Jmexwell

    This is the greatest site ever. You tube found to be very interesting site as we get all the information over here including political,educational,entertainment and social also.You may surely get some more information on cbs site as well.So please go for this site too.

  • Jmexwell

    This site is found to be very informative for,and its feels good that there is something which can help the teachers and the students as well with their education.Cbs News is also found to be the helpful and knowledgeable source not only for teachers but for students as well.

  • Bodnarn

    I’m a bit confused by this as well. So I go ahead and unblock http://www.youtube.com/education (or whatever channel they use. As soon as you click on a video, it just sends you to youtube.com proper. The “/education” part no longer comes into play so it will go back to being blocked. If all the videos were embedded on a different domain like “youtubeschool.com”, then I can say if the referral site is”youtubeschool.com” ALLOW.

    • http://twitter.com/MontanaReg MontanaReg

      So can you not say if the referral sit is youtube.com/education?  I am just now setting this up at our school and was wondering the same.  

      • NH IT Dir

        The referral site is /education, but the videos contained within just have regular http://www.youtube.com/watch? type URLs. I think it depends on your content filter …

  • Ajairo97

    hashdas

  • TinkerPan

    since the word “youtube” is in the url- we are blocked.

  • http://studydog.com/ Jessica Montoya

    Educational videos can be very interactive for kids in learning. also teaching them to read is key as a parent. So finding ways to incorporate that in with your technology use is important and not so hard these days. 

  • http://www.a3logicsweb.com/window_phone windows mobile developer

    This is an good idea. According to me it is best practice for learning.

  • Mark Ackley

    If you are not access YouTube in your school, then there is a best solution Hotspot Shield VPN, that provides you reliable access of YouTube.

    Check it out here: http://www.hotspotshield.com/access-youtube

  • http://www.schoolanduniversity.com/ College Search

    Youtube for schools is just great!! I have just applied for my educational portal to get connected with the youtube.com/education channel so I can suggest some videos to their library for public use.

    http://www.youtube.com/user/schoolanduniversity.com
    http://www.schoolandunivesity.com

    Thanks!

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