While also introducing new features for content creators and organisations using the platform for educational content, the streaming platform YouTube has announced that it will offer a simplified version of its site tailored for schools and colleges in an effort to establish itself in the market for digital education tools.
YouTube is launching a feature called Player for Education and Courses that will enable video producers to charge for or provide access to online courses. YouTube has reportedly unveiled new tools for creators using the site to produce instructional content, including options to charge viewers for their videos. It's interesting to note that starting in 2019, some creators will be able to create free or expensive "courses," with playlists of videos prepared for viewers, according to a report from The Verge.
“If a viewer buys a course, they’ll be able to watch the content ad-free and play the videos in the background. Courses will come to the US and South Korea first in beta," The Verge report said.
According to a Bloomberg article, the video streaming platform has also made plans to sell this service, known as Player for Education, to firms that specialise in educational technology. These firms will then be able to filter YouTube's massive library using various constraints. Neither advertising nor video recommendations will be provided by the service. According to the article, YouTube is initially collaborating with EDpuzzle Inc., Purdue University Global Inc., and Google Classroom, a service provided by YouTube's parent company, Alphabet Inc.'s Google.
“To improve the YouTube experience in educational environments, we're launching YouTube Player for Education — a new YouTube embedded player that shows content on commonly used education apps without distractions like ads, external links or recommendations. YouTube Player for Education will also improve upon the existing YouTube embedded player in Google Classroom for an even better YouTube experience," said the statement by YouTube on its blogsite.
Notably, this isn't YouTube's first attempt at the market; for a number of years, the website reportedly lobbied classrooms to use its wealth of instructional and how-to videos. However, those earlier pitches reportedly encountered resistance due to the platform's targeted advertising and a profusion of non-educational content, according to a Bloomberg report. For the first two years of its new service, YouTube will provide all purchases from it to creators whose films are played in schools; after that, it will keep a fee on those sales.