YouTube is taking the initiative to make itself more education-friendly in a pretty cool way.
This is an excellent idea for a few reasons. First, keeping the Web open on school networks is challenging because of the wealth of content inappropriate for that environment. One thing schools often do is block sites containing adult content or overtly offensive material, and that’s OK. There are things that students shouldn’t have access to on a school network (websites promoting gambling or bullying, for instance). But when it comes to sites like YouTube, it’s tough to limit what students can and cannot see.
YouTube can be a great way to do research on a specific topic, but it also contains a lot of videos that are too distracting or inappropriate for a school setting. For instance, if a high school student is doing a report on big cats such as tigers, lions, and the like, and searches YouTube hoping for “Planet Earth”-type videos, he or she will find many videos with the phrase “funny big cats” in the title. I know, I searched it. While he or she may find some informational videos, seeing a tiger maul a pumpkin has little-to-no educational value and is just a waste of school bandwidth.
YouTube for Schools is a great way to cut the “funny big cats” out of students’ searches and will help them better use the site for educational purposes.
What do you think? Is YouTube for Schools a good way to enhance students’ learning?