For teachers who have been reluctant to allow their students to use YouTube, the YouTube for Education program is a solution to the concern that students will be distracted and watch unassigned videos.
“Teachers had said they don’t let their students use YouTube because they could get off that video and go to something else,” said Beth Billingsley, technology facilitator for Cumberland County Schools. “We have seen a push for using more videos in the classroom and this had been a restraint…They say, ‘I would use YouTube, but…’ This takes away the buts.
“We have the technology and we want them to use it with no ifs and buts.”
Cumberland County Schools worked with Google to pilot the YouTube for Education program. Their internet service provider restricts access to YouTube on school internet networks. When students sign into their school Google accounts, students can access approved videos. Teachers approve videos for student viewing after ensuring that they are age appropriate and have educational value.
“We’re trying to make this as safe as possible and protect our students,” said Billingsley, a Google certified teacher. “Teachers can show any video they need for their classrooms; however, students are on a restricted mode.”