YouTube recently announced the launch of YouTube Teachers, a portion of the website dedicated to helping teachers use videos to keep students engaged and learning. At YouTube.com/Teachers, educators can get practical tips for using videos in class, learn how to create their own YouTube channels and playlists, and even see real-life examples of teachers who are using YouTube videos to enhance student learning.
The site is just the first of two YouTube initiatives designed to help educators feel more comfortable with the site. And rumor has it that YouTube will also be making a big announcement about updates that will address the concerns educators often raise about using YouTube videos at school. But will that be enough to get teachers on board? And more importantly, will it be enough to convince administrators to unblock YouTube URLs on school computers?
When I taught at a local university, YouTube was blocked on computers throughout campus. Anytime I wanted to show an online video in one of my classes, I had to find a way to work around that restriction. Google Video, Hulu, and network websites became my best friend. More than once I was left high and dry — the video I wanted to use seemed to exist only on YouTube. But by and large, my other video sources worked fine.
Now, a few years later, the university has unblocked YouTube on their servers. But many elementary, middle, and high schools are still keeping the website off school computers due to inappropriate content and the potential for distraction. Now that YouTube is making efforts to extend an olive branch to educators, will schools start to unblock YouTube URLs? Or is it too little, too late?
What do you think? Will YouTube Teachers be enough to convince administrators to unblock YouTube web addresses? Or will the world’s most popular video-sharing website still be shunned in our schools? Leave a comment below.