You might remember a time when YouTube was, like its friend Facebook, the bad kid in the schoolyard. Those days might just be over for the video-sharing website once best known for documenting fistfights and piano-playing cats.
In March, The New York Times published a story about Google’s new tool, YouTube for Schools. Thought you’d never hear the words “YouTube” and “schools” together in the same sentence? Largely because of the support of tech-savvy teachers, YouTube has introduced a new tool that permits school districts to use a “gated” version of the website. With it, teachers and administrators are able to view all videos on YouTube, but students can’t log in, at least not in school. Still, the tool allows them to watch YouTube EDU videos like Khan Academy, PBS, TED Talks and Steven Spangler Science, along with videos posted by their school district.
This is a major step forward for YouTube. The site has gradually transformed its reputation by introducing YouTube EDU several years ago in a partnership with the country’s major universities, then by working closely with the fabulous Khan Academy to make its videos accessible to the world. Already, a number of school districts around the country have signed up YouTube for Schools, including the Chicago Public Schools.
Go to YouTube for Schools to learn more about signing up. To view some of the YouTube channels your teachers are just dying to use in the classroom, check out Khan Academy, Steve Spangler Science, PBS, Stanford University or TED Talks. You’ll find it hard to step away from the computer. Then advocate on behalf of your teachers, if necessary.
YouTube for Teachers is another useful resource, which includes hundreds of video playlists, organized by subject and grade, with many aligned to common core standards.
Here’s a video explanation of YouTube for Schools: