The 3 R’s — Reading, Writing and Rewind: YouTube Starts Student-Friendly Portal

YouTube (NASDAQ:GOOG) is launching “YouTube for Schools” in response to demands by educators to make a student-friendly portal. Many schools have limited YouTube access due to distracting and inappropriate materials, but YouTube for Schools will have only educational content.

YouTube posted a statement on its blog that read:  “We’ve been hearing from teachers that they want to use the vast array of educational videos on YouTube in their classrooms, but are concerned that students will be distracted by the latest music video or cute cat, or a video that wasn’t appropriate for students. While schools that restrict access to YouTube may solve this distraction concern, they also limit access to hundreds of thousands of educational videos on YouTube that could help bring photosynthesis to life, or show what life was like in ancient Greece.”

YouTube EDU will act as a filter to grant access to only educational materials, but teachers have even greater control if they choose to create playlists that they make available to students. The teachers can include material from any part of YouTube in their playlists or just whittle down the YouTube for Schools library. Mashable quoted Angela Lin, head of YouTube for Schools, who said, “Video has always been incorporated into classroom teaching. Back when I was a kid it started with VHS and then moved to DVDs, but the idea that we can unlock this vast store of information [on YouTube] that teachers can pull from is really exciting. … I think it’s the next step in the evolution of how video is used in class.”

YouTube has worked with teachers and over 600 other institutions to select their content and has even created ready-made playlists which can be selected by grade and subject. YouTube for Schools will be free to use.