Google is launching a new program, YouTube for Schools, described as “a network setting that school administrators can turn on to grant access only to the educational content from YouTube EDU.”
Sounds harmless, and beneficial, right? The YouTube community is reacting to the new initiative, announced yesterday on its official blog post, with mixed reviews.
YouTube for Schools will provide videos for teachers. “Teachers can choose from the hundreds of thousands of videos on YouTube EDU created by more than 600 partners like the Smithsonian, TED, Steve Spangler Science, and Numberphile,” wrote Brian Truong, the Product Manager at YouTube, in the blog post. YouTube for School is “just the latest initiative in our ongoing efforts to make YouTube a truly valuable educational resource.”
Content has been broken down by teachers into playlists separated by subject and grade level. The idea is to make searching “the world’s largest library” less “daunting.”
But will it work?
“Ya, this is a definate good idea to add this in to a student's daily lesson plan,” wrote Devilish2Gamer87 in the comments section of the “YouTube for Schools” video. “Everyone has their preferred style in the way that they learn, whether it's visually, hands-on, or auditory. As long as teachers/students don’t depend on using strictly YouTube to learn it should enhance everyone’s experience”
lastassassin13, in a top comment, doesn’t agree: “More excuses for kids to be lazy! Good job!”
birdwingsbeat was even more cynical in his or her comment, writing “Yes, let's get 'em as young as we can...Kindergartners, get your free YouTube account. Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain...”
The top comment on the video focused on Google’s growing influence, and a perceived lack of privacy in today’s digital age.
“Google = Youtube = NSA (National Security Agency) = CIA = FBI = Spies everywhere, no privacy anymore.” wrote barbelotta.
It is unclear how “YouTube for Schools” threatens privacy. Nonetheless, the number of upvotes to barelotta’s comment proves folks are worried about it.