Google Presents YouTube for Schools, Makes Video World Safe for Teachers

On YouTube, the path to education is as narrow and as difficult to walk as a razor's edge. Left to their own devices, kids have a tendency to veer away from the math tutorials and head straight for the water-skiing squirrels. What's an educator to do?

Google believes it has the answer with "YouTube for Schools," a new service that gives teachers and administrators the ability to filter out everything but their own selections from YouTube EDU, a curated collection of educational videos from sources ranging from Sesame Street to Harvard.

"We've been hearing from teachers that they want to use the vast array of educational videos on YouTube in their classroom, but are concerned that students will be distracted by the latest music video or a video of a cute cat, or a video that might not be appropriate for students," writes YouTube Product Manager Brian Truong. "While schools that completely restrict access to YouTube may solve this distraction concern, they also limit access to hundreds of thousands of educational videos on YouTube that can help bring photosynthesis to life, or show what life was like in ancient Greece."

To help teachers find the best material with ease, YouTube has organized the educational videos by subject and grade level, with more than 300 playlists to choose from at To learn more, or to sign up, go to

Also don't miss our own curated list of Intelligent YouTube Channels, which highlights the best video collections on the Google-owned service.

The Mechanical Monsters: Seminal Superman Animated Film from 1941

In 1941, director Dave Fleischer and Paramount Pictures animators Steve Muffati and George Germanetti produced Superman: The Mechanical Monsters -- a big-budget animated adaptation of the popular Superman comics of that period, in which a mad scientist unleashes robots to rob banks and loot museums, and Superman, naturally, saves the day. It was one of seventeen films that raised the bar for theatrical shorts and are even considered by some to have given rise to the entire Anime genre.

More than a mere treat of vintage animation, the film captures the era's characteristic ambivalence in reconciling the need for progress with the fear of technology in a culture on the brink of incredible technological innovation. It was the dawn of the techno-paranoia that persisted through the 1970s, famously captured in the TV series Future Shock narrated by Orson Welles, and even through today. Take for example books like Nicholas Carr's The Shallows and Sherry Turkle's Alone Together: Why We Expect More from Technology and Less from Each Other.

Superman: The Mechanical Monsters is available for download on The Internet Archive, and Toonami Digital Arsenal has the complete series of all seventeen films. Find more vintage animation in Open Culture's collection of Free Movies Online.

Maria Popova is the founder and editor in chief of Brain Pickings, a curated inventory of cross-disciplinary interestingness. She writes for Wired UK, The Atlantic and DesignObserver, and spends a great deal of time on Twitter.

YouTube & Creative Commons Partnership Will Open Creative Floodgates

Starting at 9 pm PDT tonight, YouTube will make 10,000 Creative Commons videos available to anyone using YouTube's video editor. Initially the Creative Commons library will be loaded with videos from C-SPAN,, Voice of America, and Al Jazeera, and you can bet that more content providers will be added down the line.

This partnership will let video/filmmakers unleash their creativity and produce some extraordinary video remixes – à la Donald Discovers Glenn Beck – without running the risk of legal complications. And because the Creative Commons library will be stocked only with videos released under a less restrictive CC-BY license, the resulting remixes can have commercial ambitions. A boon for some.

Finally, we shouldn't miss another important component of this partnership: Moving forward, any videomaker can release their own creative work under a CC license on YouTube. Fast forward 6 t0 18 months, and the Creative Commons library will be vast,  and the remix opportunities, endless. A good day for open culture.

via YouTube's blog and GigaOm

OK Go & Kutiman: Live from the Guggenheim

On Thursday night, the Guggenheim Museum and YouTube unveiled the winners of a highly publicized video contest, YouTube Play: A Biennial of Creative Video. The contest originally generated 23,000 submissions from 91 countries, and, from there, Guggenheim curators culled a shortlist of 125 videos. Then the big moment: 20 winners were selected during an awards ceremony held last night at the museum.

The ceremony itself featured performances by artists who have made YouTube integral to their art – above we have Kutiman, the Israeli artist known for his mother of all funk remix, giving the audience something rather different: a live mashup of Brahms' "Hungarian Dance," accompanied by the Noname ensemble from the Julliard School and YouTube Symphony Orcherstra players. And to wrap things up OK Go, the unofficial kings of YouTube, performed 'White Knuckles' and 'This too Shall Pass.' Keep a close eye on the YouTube channel dedicated to the Biennial of Creative Video. The winning videos will almost certainly be coming online soon.

The Best of YouTube (According to Open Culture)

Maybe you have noticed. (Or maybe you haven't.) Almost every YouTube video featured on Open Culture can be accessed through our YouTube Channel. You'll find about 225 videos overall, and they run the gamut. Intelligent lectures, artistic videos, comic bits, scientific explorations, historical footage – they're all here. And, if you subscribe to our YouTube channel, you'll get notified when we add new videos down the road. Now, let me give you fifteen of my personal favorites, and if you have your own YouTube faves, please send them our way. We'd love to share the great ones with our readers.

YouTube Edu Releases Version 2.0, Goes International

A quick bit of breaking news. YouTube.EDU has released Version 2.0 today and has gone international. The site, launched six months ago, now features academic content from the UK, France, Spain, Italy, the Netherlands, Russia, and Israel. As part of this global effort, the YouTube team has brought 45 new universities into the fold, including Cambridge University, Open University, Bocconi University, the Open University of Catalonia, to name a few. In total, YouTube.EDU now works with over 200 colleges and universities, and serves more than 40,000 videos. When you visit, make sure you have some time to spend. For more details on this global effort, you can read this handy blog post.

For more smart content from YouTube, see our big list: Intelligent YouTube Video Collections.

When The Wall Comes Tumbling Down: History on YouTube

The Berlin Wall and the Iron Curtain collapsed a little more than 20 years ago (August 1989). And even though I watched the events on TV, my memory of it all has already started to fade. But that's where YouTube comes in. Above, a quick refresher that makes my day. This clip comes from a larger collection called 101 Historical Moments You Can Relive on YouTube. Thanks for the heads up on this one.

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