Parents are able to use videos found on YouTube to refresh their thinking on a topic or as the home tutor for many subjects.
However, it seems YouTube is completely blocked for many districts, because the array of videos are not always school friendly. Is there a way for districts to allow YouTube to be safely used in schools?
Yes, especially when students are using Chromebooks. When the Chrome settings are set to restricted mode, teachers have full access to YouTube. When teachers find an instructional video on YouTube, they can approve it for student access. Approved videos on YouTube can then embed into other resources for students to view. Any YouTube video not approved cannot be found or viewed by students when using Chrome on their district-issued device. In the long run this creates a district collection of approved videos.
The restricted mode is only in the Chrome Browser. That’s what makes Chromebooks so great. There is not a work-around for students since this is the only option on a Chromebook. Therefore, while on district devices, students are restricted to what they can view. On the other hand, when students are using other devices offering additional options for web browsers, YouTube is not blocked. Therefore, students can simply go elsewhere to find videos. Just remember if extensions are enabled and wide open for students, they can download other browser extensions and bypass many security measures by simply using these browsers instead.
Along with setting YouTube restrictions, districts can limit access to students using other video hosts and other browser extensions by not having the Google Chrome Store wide open for students. When the Chrome Store is open, students can search for other internet browsers that will allow them to bypass a lot of security measures. To learn more about Extensions, check out our post, Kincaid IT’s Cloud Specialists Explain How to Make the Most of Chrome Web Store Extensions, which explains how to limit access to some Extensions for students while still granting access to teachers.