YouTube for Schools – A Welcome Disruption

Posted by Alex
Well, there’s been a long history of YouTube versus schools but now it looks like the two will be joining forces. If you’ve been at school in the last 6 or 7 years then you will know how teachers despise their students using it and watching dogs falling down slides when they should be learning. Well, no more. YouTube is looking to get into the classroom by providing a special service for schools that gives them access to free educational videos. The idea is that these videos will be engaging for students and promote debate and discussions in the classroom. It’s also hoped that teachers will be using it to share ideas with each other, and collaborate more freely. One of the features allows teachers to share playlists of interesting or useful videos, so they can save time in sourcing the best ones. It’s not a full service YouTube that will be accessible however, there are many concerns about some of the content available which might be considered inappropriate for young minds – and taking a look at some of the comments on uploaded videos will shock even the most mature mind. Comments are disabled in YouTube for Schools, and there are no related videos either, presumably to prevent distractions. A look at YouTube EDU shows the full extent of the catalogue available, and there are no Lolcats orRickrolling.  It’s fair to say it might not exactly be setting the web alight, but it’s an interesting step from YouTube, and their Google overlords, to try and branch out and make allies – with the company still not making as much as it could given their audience size. Videos available include things like science experiments, language lessons, mathematics and business classes. There are also university lectures available, along with current affairs videos – could this develop into some sort of YouTube news platform I wonder? There are also a lot of really significant educational establishments taking part, videos from MIT and Berkeley in the U.S. number in the thousands. There are also a lot of videos designed specifically for infants. It’s an interesting development; they use it with the tagline ‘Join the global classroom today!’ which somehow seems typical of the Google overlords, but it seems they are trying to find a way off the block list in schools and increase their viewership even more. Will it work? Well, schools seem to latching on to it quite readily, an NY Times article talks with a few and they’re chomping at the bit. Who knows, our kids and grandkids might be taking a Google bus to school pretty soon. Make sure to come back and check out my blog for more tech updates and info.