As an educator you may have a love/hate relationship with YouTube. There are many educational and noneducational videos on YouTube that have child appropriate content.
Unfortunately, there is also a ton of videos on YouTube with inappropriate content. The technical process of separating the appropriate from the inappropriate is a lot more difficult than some may think.
One change our district has made to combat this issue on Chromebooks and logged in Chrome browsers is to enable content restrictions. The blocking of videos is automatically done by Google. However, all teachers have the ability to allow students to watch a particular video or channel on YouTube.
Using YouTube Restricted Mode with Students
Three main things have changed for students when using YouTube on our Chromebooks.
- When searching for videos, restricted videos will no longer show up in the search
- Comments for videos are no longer shown
- When trying to play a restricted video by using a link, the student will see this screen.
I should point out that these three changes are true regardless of whether the Chromebook is being used at school, at McDonalds, or on a home WiFi network.
Now, as I said in the beginning, teachers can override a YouTube block. They can allow a specific video or an entire YouTube Channel. Both are really easy to do.
When a teacher approves a video it is allowed for all students in the district.
Approving a Specific Video for Students
- Open www.youtube.com
- Sign in with your school Google account (if not already.) You can do so by clicking on Sign In in the top right corner. If you are signed in you will see your account
- Search for the video you want to allow
- Under the video there will be a blue bar that either says the video is approved or there will be an “Approve” button.
Once approved the video will be available for all students. Teachers can approve videos from anywhere, not just at school.
If you approve a video by mistake or decide later that the video should not be approved, you can click the Remove button
Videos will now be available for students signed into Chromebooks or signed in the Windows Chrome browser. Videos may still be blocked by our Internet filter for students using other browsers on Windows PC or if they have not signed into Chrome.
Approving an Entire Channel for Students
In some cases it makes sense to approve an entire channel rather than an individual video. This could even be your own Channel.
For example, let’s say you were watching the Official Trailer | KINGDOMS OF THE SKY video from PBS and you want to allow all videos on the PBS Channel.
- Under the video player you will see the account image for the Channel that provided the video.
- Click on it.
- This will take you to the Channel’s page
- Click Approve in the blue bar
Note: Videos may still be blocked by our Internet filter for students using Windows PCs if they are not signed into the Chrome browser.
Enabling YouTube Restrictions in the Google Admin Console for Your Domain
This section is for Google domain admins.
- Open the Google Admin Console
- Open Apps
- Choose Additional Google Services
- Scroll through the pages until you find YouTube and click on it.
- Under Content settings click on Setup
- In the Setup section, click on the pencil
- Check the box next to Signed in users in your organization can only watch restricted and approved videos
- Click Save
- Next, in the Setup section, click YouTube Permissions settings
- On the left side of the screen you can choose which OU you want to set permissions for.We have our OUs setup this way:
Elementary Student OUs – Strict restricted YouTube access
Middle & High Student OUs – Moderate restricted YouTube access
To allow teachers to approve YouTube videos we have our staff OUs – Can approve videos
- Click Save
Other than the video our staff specifically allows, Google controls what videos are automatically available for students in the two categories.
This is how Google define the different restriction levels.
View Approved Videos List
Have a questionable video or channel approved? As a Google Domain Admin you can see what channels and videos have been approved as well as when and by who.
When signed into the Admin Console you can access the list at https://admin.google.com/ytapprovals/whitelist. Users who are not admins will get a 404 error when trying to access this list.
You can unapprove a video by clicking the X in the video list. Teachers can remove a video they approved using the same blue bar in YouTube.
The list is in descending chronological order from the date approved. Approved channels are listed before individual videos. So, keep scrolling!
I hope you found this information helpful. Make sure to check out my other Chromebook posts.
Thanks for reading and sharing!