The Times reports that, “Schools and councils are planning to spend thousands of pounds so that classes can access videos on YouTube… dozens of town halls and hundreds of schools plan to spend up to £10,000 a year…”

Why? Well, the service from Bloxx Media Filter removes the comments on videos and related films.It’s the potential for these comments to be offensive that prevents the use of YouTube in the classroom. Bloxx Media Filter has an interesting whitepaper that puts the case for its service. It looks like a perfectly good service with some other added-value features too.

So teachers have a choice: 1. Don’t use YouTube at all 2. Risk using YouTube and its potential to display offensive comments. 3. Wait until your school pays ££s for Bloxx Media Filter 4. Download videos.

Trouble is, that last action is illegal. Downloading videos from YouTube, according to Bloxx, “breaches Google’s terms of service, which prohibits the ‘caching’ of content.”

I’m not sure how Office 2010 will comply with this as videos in PowerPoint 2010 will now be embedded (is that ‘caching’?) in the presentation by default. There’s even an inbuilt function to insert a video directly from YouTube by clicking ‘Insert>Video>Video from Web Site’ and pasting in the embed code from the video.

All too confusing… After all it’s illegal to make a CD of MP3 files that you legally own. Wouldn’t it be better if Google, in the spirit of much of its services, adapted its terms to allow teachers to download videos for use in education…?

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