What %age of US public K-12 schools block YouTube or online videos?

I’m looking, but my GoogleFu is in retrograde or something. All I’m getting for hits is crap like “My school blocks youtube? how can i get on youtube. they block everything!!” or instructions for using proxy sites.

I’m trying to find hard statistics on school policy: What fraction of US public schools try to block YouTube specifically, or online videos generally, or streaming media altogether? Especially actively, as a matter of policy, as opposed to passively, due to sucky bandwidth?

Anyone? Anyone?


See, 'coz you couldn’t see the clip to which I’m referring if your school blocks YouTube.

The closest I was able to find are general statistics.


According to that report, 8.1% of networks block YouTube specifically. It does specify that 11.9% of businesses block it, but it doesn’t say anything about schools. Of course, this report is only for those using OpenDNS software, so you may want to take it with a grain of salt.

Anecdotally, all of the schools that I set up security for blocked YouTube (and Facebook). They do this to be compliant for eRate funding. I don’t know if ALL schools do this (I know not all schools bother with eRate), but I’m guessing a large majority do.

Grain of salt though, since I have experience with maybe 50 schools, tops.


geneb, thanks; that’s a great source. It actually surprises me that so *few *OpenDNS clients block YouTube (and even more that so many whitelist it!).

xtisme, very interesting. What’s eRate funding?

It’s federal funding for schools to get grants for technology and communications (it will, for instance, pay for a T1). To get that funding you need to be compliant with a bunch of stipulations, one of which is that you need to have an active and updated firewall filter. That doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to block YouTube, but most of the schools and libraries I’m familiar with do that for obvious reasons (generally, they block it using a category filter).

Google is also something that is often blocked, since it acts as a portal site and since one of the things the kids will do is to Google a proxy-bypass site that will get them around their firewalls filter and allow them to go to places like YouTube.


What I find weird is that email is often blocked.

A lot of schools don’t want students (or teachers for that matter) to use external email system (such as hotmail, gmail, yahoo, etc). There are several reasons for this. The main one is that students and teachers opening up attachments can bring virus, worm or other nasty stuff into the schools network, who don’t all have the best in anti-virus protections (a lot of schools go the cheap route and just use stuff like AVG’s free-ware version, or malwarebytes/super anti-spyware, etc). Another reason is that administrators think that students will send email messages back and forth (while not realizing that this small boxes in their hands can send text messages back and forth), and teachers might be reading email when they are supposed to be teaching class.

It’s variable though. Some schools I know allow external email, some have their own internal email system (some have admin and teachers only, some include students as well), and some don’t allow any email…or allow it for admin only, or admin and some teachers. It’s a mixed bag.


I teach in a private school. We watch youtube videos – how else will my kids get to see rocket stages separating, eagles hatching, or MLK giving his “I have a dream” speech? But we’re not allowed to use outside email as of this year. Maybe the administration will eventually ban youtube as well.

At the school I work at(public school), Youtube is blocked for the kids computers, but if a teacher logs in, it is open.

I think most schools block it.

Am I the only one that originally read the question as “What percentage aged schools block youtube?”

At the school I was at last fall, the filter software was such that faculty had more privileges than students. For example, teachers had access to YouTube, Hulu, and some other video sites, blogs, Facebook chat, and outside e-mail services. The students did not have access to any of these except Facebook, although the chat function was blocked, and Wikipedia. Suffice it to say that it made lesson planning fun when I wanted to use one of these and the students could not see what I was talking about. :rolleyes:

Ask your admin to unblock specific urls you want the kids to see. As for teachers and students having different rights that’s fairly common. Just need a groups or users based proxy on the firewall. A lot of schools use eSoft firewalls and they actually integrate with Windows domain, so they don’t even have to authenticate except to log in initially.