Whether or not we want to admit it, we have all been tempted to watch the cute video of the cat playing the piano, or the bull dog skateboarding on YouTube. That video actually inspired me to try and teach my bulldog to skateboard (with no luck). The fact is that YouTube videos have inspired and educated tons of people. Educators have long been aware of the educational possibilities that YouTube has to offer, but it was nearly impossible to prevent student’s from accessing all of those cat videos, and the rest of the YouTube library. With that in mind, many schools and districts block YouTube.
YouTube EDU provides users with access to thousands of educational videos from hundreds of partners like the National Geographic, TED and PBS, just to name a few. Users can also search by categories like: K-12, Higher Ed, or my new favorite, Life-Long Learning.
YouTube EDU provides a way to organize YouTube’s educational content in to one location, but YouTube for Schools is what makes YouTube EDU a great tool for educators. YouTube for Schools allows schools to block the rest of YouTube while granting access to just the educational videos found on YouTube EDU. School’s can sign up for a school account and then customize the content on their YouTube site. For additional peace of mind, the following will change when using YouTube for Schools:
- “Related videos” will be disabled, replaced with “Show more videos from uploaders”
- Comments will be disabled
- Sign-in will only be available to the administrator account and approved teacher accounts
If you’re ready to try out the new YouTube EDU and YouTube for Schools, from within your school’s network, follow these easy steps provided by YouTube:
If your school doesn’t block YouTube, then it’s as easy as signing-up:
1. SIGN UP for a school account
Start by signing up for an official account for your school by visiting YouTube for Schools. The administrator of this account will then have the ability to include videos of his/her choosing for viewing within the school network. The administrator will also be able to approve access for teacher accounts.During the sign up process they ask that you sign in with your school’s Google account and not a personal account. This does not have to be a Google Apps account, just not an account tied to an individual person. You can create a free Google account at accounts.google.com.
2. Start Adding Videos
Your network should now be able to access the YouTube for Schools version of youtube.com. You will now be able to add additional videos for viewing by restricted accounts within your network and grant access to accounts for unrestricted access to YouTube content.
To Grant Unrestricted Access: Administrators can approve accounts for unrestricted access here.
To Add More Videos for Viewing Within the School Network: Simply add each video you want to make accessible from within your school network to the playlist of the administrator account. You can create as many playlists as you need, all playlists belonging to the school administrator account will be accessible for viewing within the school network.
Propose any channels you would like YouTube to consider adding to YouTube EDU here.
If your school blocks YouTube, then follow these additional steps:
4. CHOOSE ONE OF THE FOLLOWING Options Depending On Your School’s Network
- Add new HTTP header rule
Modify your hardware filter or proxy server settings so that all outgoing traffic to youtube.com contains the following custom HTTP header. The ID to use in the HTTP header configuration, written below, is an example of a unique ID for your school’s network only. If your school is blocked at the district level, this HTTP header is then unique to the district network.
Field Name: X-YouTube-Edu-Filter
Description: When YouTube sees this header and an accompanying valid school ID in the incoming traffic, YouTube will serve a limited EDU-only site to all computers behind the school hardware filter.
Field Value Format: alphanumeric [a-z][A-Z][0-9]
Field Value Length: up to 44 characters
- Create URL parameter rewrite rule
If your hardware filter does not support HTTP header modification, please rewrite all outgoing URLs to youtube.com by appending the parameter “edufilter” at the end. Exclude the &edufilter parameter from these file types: .css, .gif, .png, .js, .xml
5. REMOVE YouTube Domains Blocked
Ensure the following top-level domains are not blocked:
Check out YouTube for Schools’ FAQs page for more information.