YouTube no longer available at D.U.S.D.

YouTube no longer available at D.U.S.D.

Although many teachers find it helpful to use YouTube as a teaching tool, the Downey Unified School District blocked the website on March 31. Students would take advantage of the website during their free time which caused downtime on several of the schools’ servers.

An e-mail was sent out to all faculty within the Downey Unified School District on March 21, notifying everyone that YouTube has been blocked from D.U.S.D. and took effect on March 31 at 3:00 p.m.  This action affected not only the students of Downey schools but also the teachers.

“I would like to have YouTube available for teaching,” science teacher Mrs. Gilfilan said.  “I know there is a lot of unwanted and inappropriate material on YouTube, but that is not what we (teachers) are looking at or wanting to use.  YouTube is a database for just about everything.”

It is understood that students are not the only people that use YouTube.  Teachers also use the website for educational purposes and to enhance their lesson plans from the usual notes-and-lecture period.

“I have utilized YouTube in the classroom for two purposes,” Advanced Placement United States and Modern American History teacher Miss James said.  “I used the site to show clips of historical events like Martin Luther King’s “I have a Dream” speech.  I have also required students to upload video projects to YouTube, which streamlined the presentation process considerably.”

The website was originally blocked, but later unblocked, only to be restricted yet again, because it contains inappropriate content. Also, it does not conform with the “Children’s Internet Protection Act” (CIPA) and is unsuitable for the working and learning environment Downey schools wish to provide.

“The Educational Services Department of Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment will be working with schools in identifying alternative resources and links to sites that conform to restrictions of the CIPA,” is what the E-mail from Kevin Condon, Assistant Superintendent stated.

Clearly, YouTube has been a great resource to teachers, and the district offices are looking to find a substitute video playing website that provides safety to the students and is appropriate for the daily environment at school.