Every student knows that YouTube is one of the most popular websites on the Internet today. It contains a wealth of videos about a wide array of topics. There is truly something for everyone on the world’s largest user content site. Many teachers frequently access YouTube in order to show videos relevant to their lessons. I would bet that the average student would be hard pressed to go an entire day without watching at least one YouTube video as a part of class.
In spite of the educational benefits, YouTube has been blocked for student access for as long as anyone can remember. After all, with the great power of educational videos comes the opportunity to waste time watching the infamous 10-hour Nyan Cat video or perhaps even worse things.
Within the coming weeks, all students will have the ability to access Youtube. “Students will be able to sign onto the Sonicwall and gain access to YouTube on any school owned iMac computer,” said Mr. Ciccolo, the Hanover School District Director of Technology. It is important to note that students will not have access to YouTube through the HHS-Guest wireless network. According to Mr. Ciccolo, this is both for reasons of network limitations and personal accountability. Simply put, the existing school wifi infrastructure cannot handle the additional traffic. Already, according to Ciccolo, “75+ devices” are connected to any one access point at a time, which is way over the recommended capacity. Also, by limiting YouTube access to school-owned computers, teachers will be able to monitor which video students watch. Inappropriate usage would result in discipline according to both the teacher’s classroom rules and the district’s Digital Technology Acceptable Use Policy.
Mr. Patch’s Advanced Digital Media class served as the pilot group of students for this school-wide initiative.
“Having access to YouTube is extremely useful when trying to create videos,” said Maya Collins, a student in the class. “A lot of the time we use references of videos we’ve seen online while filming. Being able to access this helps in constructing ideas as well as viewing our own videos, which are uploaded to the school’s YouTube channel.”
Seeing the benefits, the school administration gave the green light for everyone else to have access.
Social media websites, including Facebook and Twitter, will be still be blocked for students on school-owned computers and the guest wifi.
Please remember that with the power to access Youtube comes great responsibly. The school tech staff certainly have the option to block YouTube once again if usage gets out of hand.