Bloxx introduces YouTube filtering appliance to allow schools to use the site for educational purposes

Bloxx is to launch a filtering appliance that will allow schools to view YouTube videos with restrictions on the content available.

The web filtering company will show the Bloxx Media Filter at the BETT education show later this week. It will allow teachers to identify curriculum related YouTube video clips and with just a few clicks tag and assign these to a subject area and age range, and submit the clips for approval.

Once approved, students can search and view clips, which are streamed directly from the YouTube site through the appliance directly to classroom PCs, without related video clips, contextual advertising or user submitted comments being displayed.

Bloxx explained that this will also eliminate the need for IT managers to allow students access to the entire YouTube site, which could allow students to inadvertently view inappropriate content. Since only approved video clips can be viewed, this eliminates the risk of students viewing inappropriate material or comments.

Chief marketing officer Jim Black explained that it allows every school to give access to YouTube without open access.

Black said: “This is a real key thing for schools, at the moment it is impossible to allow access of dynamic using YouTube across pages; it is virtually all or nothing. You can see inappropriate content and really inappropriate content such as pornography videos, carjacking, bullying – it is impossible to say whether it is appropriate for education.”

In regards to whether this could be adapted to be a corporate appliance, Black said that Bloxx had received interest from organisations, but as you cannot allow access on a per user basis it may not be viable yet.

Eamonn Doyle, Bloxx chief executive officer, said: “Social media sites such as YouTube contain vast libraries of fantastic educational related content which can dramatically improve the effectiveness of teaching and improve learning outcomes.

“Unfortunately, since there's often a large amount of inappropriate content available on these sites, schools and colleges have so far been reluctant to use this free and valuable resource. The Bloxx Media Filter now allows schools to quickly create an approved library of YouTube content that can be used by teachers to reinforce the delivery of the curriculum with rich media that students can relate to.”

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