With the goal of increasing access to digital learning content, Vancouver Public Schools is enabling middle and high school students to use YouTube.com on a limited basis during the 2017-18 school year.
Instructional video has become an essential part of teaching and learning in much of the the curriculum that teachers and students use, as well as in the Canvas learning management system. In addition, YouTube offers several benefits, including ad-free channels for individual teachers and an education-specific collection of videos from organizations like Stanford University, PBS, TED, Khan Academy and others.
To ensure that students access safe, appropriate content, the district is piloting YouTube in a strict restricted mode for all VPS students using district-issued iPads, laptops or desktop computers either on or off campus. This mode uses video titles, descriptions, community guidelines, reviews and age restrictions, among other things, to help YouTube determine which videos to restrict. Strict restricted mode also does not allow students to see comments on the videos they watch.
In addition to YouTube’s strict restricted mode, VPS’ filtering system and other technology measures will attempt to block users’ access to internet materials that are inappropriate, unrelated to district business or otherwise in violation of any district regulations. Per VPS’ policies, users should not intentionally visit a website that violates any district regulation, even if it is not blocked by district filters.
Alongside print and digital resources, video is a powerful tool to help teachers design great learning experiences for students. VPS expects that YouTube access on district devices will be appropriate and beneficial for all users.