Lightspeed Adds YouTube Library Video Feature
- By Dian Schaffhauser
Lightspeed Systems, which sells network security and management software for schools, has added an educational video library feature to version 7.02 of Total Traffic Control, the company's network security application. The library feature enables teachers and students to play approved YouTube videos through a portal on the local network. YouTube's video functions operate normally, but the other community information and links that are usually displayed on the YouTube Web site along with a video, such as promoted videos and user comments, are removed.
Network administrators designate teachers and staff who may submit and/or approve videos for sharing. As part of the submission process, videos are placed in a subject category such as math or science, and tags may be added for more specific searches. Teachers can search by category, tags, and titles from the library of previously approved videos. Video approval can be widely delegated to teachers and curricular leaders or limited to a single administrator. In its current form, the Educational Video Library is limited to users within a district, but Lightspeed Systems is planning a future version that will allow content to be shared among Total Traffic Control users around the world if desired.
"Technology directors tell us that one of the most frequent requests they receive from teachers is for access to YouTube videos with educationally rich content," said Scott Garrison, president of the company. "Sites like YouTube are part of a shift in education toward more collaborative technologies and digital media as schools strive to provide a 21st century education. However, administrators are challenged with the security and safety risks that come with Web 2.0 technologies. Schools must comply with state and federal regulations such as Children's Internet Protection Act (CIPA). The Educational Video Library is our first step in a concerted, long-term effort to help schools adopt Web 2.0 tools in a safe and effective manner."
Total Traffic Control has been used by Bullard Independent School District in Texas, the School District of Menomonee Falls in Wisconsin, and Bakersfield City School District in California.
Dian Schaffhauser is a former senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal, Campus Technology and Spaces4Learning.