Lightspeed Serves Up Screened YouTube Videos
Lightspeed Systems has released the Educational Video Library, a new tool that allows teachers to review YouTube content and choose files to submit to the district administrator for approval. Those files receiving district approval are then made accessible through a portal on the district's local network. In addition, all YouTube community information and external user comments are blocked, ensuring that nothing reaches the classroom that hasn't first been reviewed for appropriateness. The announcement was made at last week's National Education Computing Conference (NECC) in Washington, DC.
"I can't blame the teachers for wanting to use YouTube as an instructional resource; there are countless educational videos on YouTube," said Zach Lloyd, network systems specialist for the Greenwood School District 50 in Greenwood, SC. "Teachers can either submit videos while at home or make a note of the URL and submit them on campus. Reviewing falls on either IT staff or our instructional technology specialist, depending on who gets to it first."
More and more, educators and students are recognizing the value of allowing Web 2.0 technologies like YouTube contribute to classroom learning. "Students are able to add links to the videos in PowerPoint presentations, and staff are adding a large variety of videos in all subjects to EVL," said Andy Blanchette, a technology specialist for Sartell-St. Stephen Public Schools in Sartell, MN.
EVL is included as part of the current version of Lightspeed's Total Traffic Control network security application, which allows administrators to activate the EVL at will and set permissions for video submission and review. A spokesperson for Lightspeed said that since its introduction in February, more than 4,000 YouTube videos have been approved and shared within the education community.
Scott Aronowitz is a freelance writer based in Las Vegas. He has covered the technology, advertising, and entertainment sectors for seven years. He can be reached here.