It’s Time to Unblock Youtube

YouTube has been blocked at BV West and other BV schools for as long as I can remember. But no one really knows why this outdated block is still in place. Nearly every educational website that has a video of some sort uses YouTube for their videos. Blocking YouTube is blocking any video on school grounds may it be for educational purposes or not.

It was just the other week when I was sitting in a class where we were working on separate projects and a teacher told a student that the only way he’d be able to do his would either be at home or to actually sit outside the room on his phone where YouTube would work.

I recently had a similar situation. I was working on math homework during JAG, and one of the best ways I learn anything math or science related that I do not understand is through “Khan Academy”, which basically has a video lecture for most high school math and science classes that many teachers I’ve had have recommended to me. They all required YouTube, however. So instead of doing something productive during JAG like I had hoped, I ended up just mindlessly staring at the ceiling for the remainder of the block because I could not use the site that is supposedly disruptive to the learning environment until I got home. Is this what you want, Blue Valley?

Ever since YouTube was unblocked for teachers, many have been using it almost daily to show their educational videos that prove to be considerably helpful to learning the subject, yet students apparently can’t be trusted with this responsibility.

The point I’m trying to make is that blocking YouTube causes more problems than it solves. Last year in Spanish class, for example, we turned in our video projects on YouTube. To actually do that, though, required that everyone stood in line to the teacher’s computer while everyone uploaded their videos from the iPads that could not be taken home.

I don’t understand the point of this censorship. Does the district think this will make people be more productive in class? If kids want to be unproductive badly enough they’ll just play a flash game on the computers or get on YouTube/Facebook/Twitter on their phones. Yeah, believe it or not, people have phones. Crazy, I know. And on these phones, people could do whatever they want outside of Wi Fi, regardless of any censors the school has.

Think about it, though: will people be more productive on their phones, or will they be more productive on a school computer? It’s really a disappointment that the school and the district cannot figure out the answer to that question.