As YouTube for Schools nears its first anniversary in December, 2012, it continues to gain in popularity. Recently, YouTube announced that they are teaming up with Khan Academy, an online learning resource, to expand their library of great educational videos.

Since its inception, YouTube for Schools has worked to gather educational videos from some of the best-known institutions in the world including Stanford, PBS, TED and others. Their partnership with Khan means that the expert educators who populate Khan’s site with exciting new content, will also be working to add vital content to the YouTube for Schools collection.

Teachers have embraced YouTube for Schools in districts where access has been facilitated. The fact that content is relevant and exciting for students, plus YouTube’s organized presentation of material, has allowed teachers to easily incorporate material into their own lesson plans. As one middle school teacher put it, “The students of the new millennium are growing up in a world that is unlike any other. It is fast, technological and different. Students understand YouTube and can benefit from it. I believe that YouTube for Schools would reach visual, kinesthetic and audio learners in a brief amount of time.”

However, schools that have been unable to provide safe access are choosing to block YouTube for Schools completely – despite the protests of teachers, parents and students. As one teacher said “Blocking YouTube access at school takes away a great resource.”

One of the problems has been to provide YouTube for Schools, while continuing to block inappropriate content. This is a requirement of CIPA ( Children’s  Internet Protection Act) compliance and the acceptable use policies of virtually all schools. The trouble is some of the most popular Web security solutions are not compatible with YouTube for Schools and schools that deploy them are choosing to block the service rather than incur the risks. On its own site, YouTube lists several Web security companies that are not compatible including Cisco Ironport, and Fortinet. In many districts, teachers and parents are frustrated that access to YouTube for Schools is denied due to this lack of integration with their Web security solution.

Fortunately there is a Web filtering solution that supports YouTube for Schools – iPrism Web Security.  In fact, we published a press release in April of 2012 announcing our seamless integration with YouTube for Schools important educational services.  Angela Lin, Head of Education at YouTube commented, “Smart technology like EdgeWave’s will make it easier for busy school IT administrators to enable access to YouTube EDU, giving teachers an engaging new resource to educate and inspire their students and bring learning to life.”