Education insights | Features and updates

Enjoy the benefits of YouTube in the classroom with web limiting and push website features 

YouTube has become many students’ primary source of entertainment, information, and connection with the world. Around 69 percent of kids age 13-18 say they watch YouTube every day. And with 500 hours of video uploaded every minute, there’s always plenty of new content to make them return regularly. 

Some of that content is educational, and even purpose-built for teachers to use in the classroom. But YouTube also houses a great deal of content that’s inappropriate for students, leading many school IT teams to block the site entirely. 

These competing priorities can lead educators to wonder — does YouTube have a place in the classroom? And if so, how can teachers unlock the benefits of YouTube while also shielding students from its negative effects?  

YouTube is a powerful tool 

There are a number of reasons YouTube has become the powerhouse it is, and many of those translate to the classroom. 

1. Supplements learning – There is a great deal of educational content available on YouTube, including entire courses. This can be invaluable for busy teachers who need supplemental resources for slow days, sick days, complex topics, or who just want to switch up their teaching style to keep students interested and engaged. Blocking YouTube on a schoolwide level removes the opportunity for teachers to lean on YouTube when it would otherwise be helpful. 

2. Increases engagement – The fact that students choose to engage with videos on a daily basis proves how enticing this format can be to young people. The combination of visuals and audio — along with YouTube’s content culture of simple, digestible messaging — makes YouTube videos a great tool for engaging students in learning. In fact, 91% of educational institutions say video increases student satisfaction. 

3. Encourages creativity – One other benefit to enabling YouTube in the classroom is that it opens the door for student-led video creation. Video production is not only a viable future career choice for students but has also become a common skillset that students want and need to practice. Student videos don’t have to be slick productions — even a video journal or improvised essay response can be great uses for the format. 

Common reasons teachers block YouTube 

Of course, teachers wouldn’t block the use of YouTube if enabling it only brought advantages. YouTube can introduce a few hurdles to the classroom environment that teachers and IT teams will have to address with web limiting solutions. Here are a few reasons teachers block YouTube: 

They want to block harmful content. 

Not everything on YouTube is educational or appropriate for kids. This is the main reason schools sometimes block YouTube entirely — the convenience of avoiding harmful video content at the click of a button. Of course, a web limiting solution can enable schools or teachers to block harmful content without disabling YouTube altogether. 

It can be distracting. 

Teachers want to limit distractions in their classroom, and without the right tools in place, YouTube can fall into that category. Web limiting tools can enable teachers to set appropriate limits on YouTube when necessary, without having to block the entire site. 

It’s difficult to verify the quality and accuracy of videos. 

As educators strive to teach students about digital citizenship, one of their major focuses is ensuring students understand how to distinguish credible sources from the rest. Teachers will have to go the extra mile to determine the accuracy of the videos they’re sharing, but doing so is a good opportunity to teach students how to verify sources for themselves. 

Streaming YouTube videos uses a great deal of network bandwidth. 

Video streaming can hog a school’s bandwidth, slowing down digital learning for the other students. That’s why it’s important to have web limiting tools in place that enable IT teams and/or teachers to set limits on YouTube usage, such as enabling it only during certain classes or periods. 

How LanSchool can help customize your YouTube use 

LanSchool enables teachers to quickly customize YouTube access rules based on what they need in that moment. 

Teachers can limit students’ YouTube browsing by enforcing Limit Web, which blocks the site completely until the teacher lifts the restriction. Teachers can enforce and remove restrictions with a few clicks and even set different rules for different classes. Alternatively, teachers can use LanSchool’s Push Website feature to push a specific video to students’ screens, eliminating the distraction of navigating past YouTube’s home page full of recommended videos. 

YouTube can be teachers’ secret weapon for driving student engagement, creativity, and learning. Don’t miss out on one of the Internet’s best educational resources. Learn more about how LanSchool can help unleash the benefits of YouTube with a free demo.  

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