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Let’s play a quick game of word association. I say, “YouTube,” you say the first thing that pops in your head. Did the phrase “educational resource” come to mind? I didn’t think so, and therein lies a perception problem that often gets the video streaming site banned from schools.

To tackle this setback, the Google-owned property has created a safe-for-classroom network setting called YouTube Schools that restricts student access to just the content available on YouTube EDU. The subdomain contains hundreds of thousands of educational videos from YouTube’s more than 600 child-approved partners, including Smithsonian, TED and esteemed universities.

The setting is designed to help school administrators see the site as a friend to classrooms everywhere, as opposed to just a purveyor of funny cat videos, Double Rainbow-esque memes, and Justin Bieber clips.

YouTube has even curated more than 300 video playlists, with the help of teachers, spanning all grade levels and subject matters.

Under the new network setting, what’s off limits for students remains fair game for admins. So teachers don’t have to go without their weekly “Friday” fix. They can also use their full access pass to build out custom classroom playlists from restricted content that may actually be appropriate.

Of course, the YouTube for Schools filter won’t prevent kids from viewing less-than-highbrow entrainment when they’re off school grounds — or even when they’re on their own mobile devices, for that matter — but that’s a separate battle parents can choose to fight.

[Image via bionicteaching/Flickr]


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