My school blocks student access to YouTube. Teachers can access and show videos using YouTube, but students are unable to access YouTube.com or any embedded YouTube video. Teachers can request to have videos unblocked, but this is time consuming as each video must be unblocked individually. 

I'm not in favor of open access to YouTube, there is simply too much garbage available. I would, however, like filtered access to YouTube. As it's currently set up, this is very difficult. 

I just finished a blog post with some suggestions for making YouTube more school friendly. I would appreciate your comments and feedback. 

Additionally, what are your thoughts on the following: 

1. Open access to YouTube-- good idea, or a disaster waiting to happen? 
2. What are the legal issues involved in allowing open access to YouTube? 
3. Does your school filter YouTube? If so, how do you do it? 

Tags: AUP, Video, YouTube, filtering

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We do not filter you tube. I instruct my students in the proper way to use it in our classes. If they choose to do otherwise then they are responsible for the being asked to log off the computer for the rest of the class. By blocking access to information are we not just like countries that block information from their citizens? Plus they have full access at home so what message am I sending if it was blocked...I don't trust them...the students are not the enemy here...it is our own fear that is the enemy.

Good luck
I just saw this online service but haven't tried it. Seems to address some of the issues you are encountering. You might check it out.

However, I am with Jamie: the answer is not filtered access but teaching your students "filtering" behaviors for safe, ethical consumption of online content. There are no filters in the real world or at home, for that matter. Also, find out your school's acceptable use policy and teach it to your students. Put the responsibility back on them.
I am in favor of gradually giving giving students more responsibility regarding their internet usage as they get older, however I also know from personal experience how easily you can stumble into some shocking sites without meaning too. While it would be nice if all students had good intentions, this is sadly not the case. One of my responsibilities as an educator is to provide a safe and controlled environment for my students. I'm trying to find the balance between protection and responsibility.
I will weigh in again..what age are you teaching first?

Yes they will stumble across stuff by accident but that happens to me in class with a projector as well. I just acknowledge it and move on. If we control too much then we lose control if you get what I mean. Learning is about many things...set up trust and if it is broken deal with it from that perspective.

The world is full of shocking images...the nightly news is a good place to start but we watch it anyway.

Remember that all forms of media are a constructed reality. It has been put together with an intention in mind. It is up to us to educate the students about this and how they are being manipulated by the media and how to use the media to speak up and speak back.

If you want to see some amazing web sites use stumbleupon and choose the categories you wish to find.
I am teaching high school. I'm in favor of opening up the filter at the higher levels. I'm intrigued by the idea of revoking trust if it is broken. Convincing the school board and administration of this will be very difficult. We currently filter out YouTube, Wikipedia, and most blogs/social media sites. Our filter is VERY conservative, way too much so, IMO.
My school system blocks YouTube. I teach at a K-5 school so I am glad it is blocked at this level. Many of the students have way too much uncontrolled access to this site from home. They don't need it in school. Also, there are always some teachers who do not monitor their students when they are on line so I worry about them finding those videos that should not be in school. From what I see my son (5th grade) looking at, most of them would just find the time wasters and funny videos, but then there are others I can think of that would go straight the to worst videos out there to show their friends.

I understand Jamie's point of view and I do agree that we need to teach our students how to filter for themselves. Even without access to YouTube, the students can find other sites that somehow make it through the filter. My students know when they are doing a search and see unacceptable words in the description of results page that they are not to click on that site. If they do, they automatically lose their computer time and have to fill out a reflection form that has to be signed by their adult. It only take one or two doing this that convinces most of the others they don't want to. I do check the description before they fill out the form because I know sometimes it truly is an accident.

There is a site, TeacherTube, with many educational videos. I don't know what their content regulations are but I have found some good things on that site. I was wondering if you find a video you like on YouTube if you could contact the owner and ask them to post it on TeacherTube. Just an idea.
YouTube has actually recently added a new safety control feature, that might help encourage schools like yours to start allowing access to videos for students. The actual controls are quite simple; all administrators have to do is click on the safety mode button at the bottom of the YouTube front page (you have to be logged in for this).

It's great that social media websites like YouTube are beginning to implement filters. These websites can become great learning tools if used the right way and these added safety controls can help give educators and parents some peace of mind.

However, I did try out this new feature myself, and I was still able to search for explicit content. It's a great idea, but Youtube still has a few kinks to wor

Check out a review of the YouTube Safety Controls here.

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