Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Education wins on YouTube and iTunesU

Recent announcements from YouTube and iTunesU are good for schools.

If you have ever used YouTube in your school (if it is not blocked), you know that even though the video you are watching may be appropriate, the related videos may not. Or sometimes the comments may not be. Well, controlling the content on YouTube just became easier. This is with the help of YouTube EDU.

For starters, YouTube EDU has hundreds of thousands of free educational videos that have already been vetted for you as safe and useful. Next they have created tools for teachers to create custom playlists for students so that the content is controlled. Actually many of the features mentioned here have already been around but now they are being promoted more prominently.
But more than this, now there is YouTube for Schools. According to YouTube:
School admins and teachers can log in and watch any video, but students cannot log in and can only watch YouTube EDU videos plus videos their school has added. All comments and related videos are disabled and search is limited to YouTube EDU videos.
 And if that wasn't enough, iTunesU has now created courses based on TED talks.
Here you will find courses on topics like Creative Problem Solving, Climate Change, Understanding Islam, Mastering Tech-Artistry, Excavating Origins and Understanding Happiness. All "taught" by using only TED talks. So there is nothing new here except the packaging. But still a neat way to bundle the TED talks. Of course maybe if you think that might be a bit too simplified, why not just look at this spreadsheet of the over 1000 TED talks summarized for you.  

So happy video watching and may the education be with you

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