When I was in school during the 90s, watching videos in the classroom was a highlight of any week. The teacher would roll in a television on a cart, pop in a VHS tape, and then we’d enjoy whatever scratchy science video my teacher had checked out from the school video library that week. Sight, sound and motion have always had the power to engage students and complement classroom instruction by bringing educational topics to life.

We’ve been hearing from teachers that they want to use the vast array of educational videos on YouTube in their classrooms, but are concerned that students will be distracted by the latest music video or a video of a cute cat, or a video that might not be appropriate for students. While schools that completely restrict access to YouTube may solve this distraction concern, they also limit access to hundreds of thousands of educational videos on YouTube that can help bring photosynthesis to life, or show what life was like in ancient Greece.

To address this issue, we’ve developed YouTube for Schools, a network setting that school administrators can turn on to grant access only to the educational content from YouTube EDU. Teachers can choose from the hundreds of thousands of videos on YouTube EDU created by more than 600 partners like the Smithsonian, TED, Steve Spangler Science, and Numberphile.


We know how busy teachers are, and that searching through thousands of videos sounds like a daunting visit to the world’s largest library, so we’ve also worked with teachers to put together more than 300 playlists broken out by subject -- Math, Science, Social Studies, and English Language Arts -- and by grade level. Teachers can find them listed out at youtube.com/teachers. Of course, this list wouldn’t be complete without your input -- teachers, what videos do you use in your classroom? Suggest your own education playlist here.

YouTube for Schools is just the latest initiative in our ongoing efforts to make YouTube a truly valuable educational resource, and to inspire learners around the world with programs like YouTube Space Lab. So how do you get started? To join YouTube for Schools or learn more about the program, head on over to www.youtube.com/schools.

UPDATE: For detailed step-by-step instructions on how to sign up please this YouTube Help Center article.

Brian Truong, Product Manager, recently watched “The Challenges of Getting to Mars: Transporting a Mars Rover.”