YouTube to aid schoolkids learn, sans fluff?

By : |December 14, 2011 0

BANGALORE, INDIA: When the debate on inappropriate content on social media is still raging across the length and breadth of India, video sharing site YouTube has launched a new service, YouTube for Schools.

As if on cue, the service promises to grant access to schools purely on educational content, restricting what the website — and many others — deem as inappropriate content, especially for schoolchildren.

Simply put, the service will throw open about 4 lakh educational videos from trusted sources to institutions and the student community, while blocking ‘distractions’.

As the video footages are classified into 300 categories consisting various subjects, referencing might be as easy as that in a well-stocked library.

Seemingly to make sure that it is educational and only that, there will not be any related video links as well as the comments section.

A relevant blog post from Google project manager Brian Truong, dwells deep into the reason. "We’ve been hearing from teachers that they want to use the vast array of educational videos on YouTube in their classrooms, but are concerned that students will be distracted by the latest music video or cute cat, or a video that wasn’t appropriate for students."

So, www.youtube.com/schools would enable schools to sign up for a customized account and also help them choose the settings for selective access to appropriate video content. Moreover, they will get a free hand in piecing together their own content from the other sections of YouTube to aid tutoring their pupils.

"While schools that restrict access to YouTube may solve this distraction concern, they also limit access to hundreds of thousands of educational videos on YouTube that could help bring photosynthesis to life, or show what life was like in ancient Greece," is Truong’s argument on why schools should opt for this service.

Wise ploy, if the idea was also to disassociate itself from the prevalent image of unintentionally supporting offensive, distractive and obscene user content. In addition, more users in the form of young students wouldn’t hurt YouTube’s business prospects.

But, it remains to be seen on what basis the popular site has segregated the content. For, there are chances that some learning content needed for certain disciplines overlap with what it has kept out as being ‘inappropriate’.

Ultimately, it depends on the requirements and perception of the user, doesn’t it?

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