Feeling blue

YouTube, once available to students, is blocked again


Here we have the unforgiving screen that us students see when trying to get on the YouTube site.

Natalie Hinds, news writer

“You can use it for Bill Nye!”  Danny Crimmins (9) said. “He’s on YouTube. It’s a great tool to use during class.”

Out of all learners, 65 percent of the world’s population are visual learners, according to Ms. Janice Tazbir, associate professor of Nursing Purdue University Calumet. YouTube allows the majority of learners to see their lessons and understand them better.

“Students should have access,” Javon Davidson (12) said. “It helps kids get an understanding about what they’re learning and helps them visualize things.”

Mrs. Deborah Asher, head principal, also appreciates the resource.

“We should not deny access to anything,” Asher said. “We need to work on learning to use technology responsibly, so I’d like everyone to have access to social media, YouTube or anything like that.”

Not only would the videos be helpful, but some content on YouTube is necessary to complete certain assignments.

“I had to watch a video about history to try and finish my Webquest,” Emma Krause (9) said. “It didn’t work, so I couldn’t finish it completely.”

The conversation of bringing YouTube to Rockwood schools was brought up by the Rockwood Cabinet last spring. After some debate, the cabinet decided that YouTube should be available to both students and staff, according to Mr. Blaylock.

“YouTube is something that should be available to both staff and students,” Mr. William Blaylock, Chief Information Officer, said. “It provides more educational content for students.”

Then came the technical issues.

“Sporadic access began in August, and we started experiencing issues with YouTube,” Mr. Blaylock said. “We tried to get YouTube to work correctly for both students and staff.”

After access to YouTube became noticeably unreliable, the Technology Department tested a new approach.

“We enabled safety mode, but the access to YouTube became much more restrictive, and it affected staff and students,” Mr. Blaylock said. “The core of the issue is that our Lightspeed server does not process YouTube correctly.” 

Initially this year, the district intended YouTube to be available for students and staff. Now, only staff has access to the site.

The Technology Department continues to work on resolving the problem in the hopes of restoring access to students.

In the meantime, the lack of YouTube access is felt.

“Presentations always require a video or some type of media,” Najah Reeves (12) said. “You can just go on YouTube and get your little video and put it in your little PowerPoint. Most of the time it actually helps with completing projects.”