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YouTube For Schools educates, blocks sneezing pandas

A new service called YouTube for Schools shows you only educational YouTube videos, blocking everything else.

YouTube has a new version of its video-streaming service aimed at pleasing pernickity teachers. YouTube For Schools blocks the vast majority of YouTube videos, showing instead only educational clips, such as this one about proteins.

The free service also blocks related videos and all comments, which sounds absolutely blissful. The videos you can watch are restricted to those that are part of YouTube EDU, where educational clips like science experiments or language tutorials end up, from partners including the Smithsonian and TED.

In a blog post, product manager Brian Truong said, "We've been hearing from teachers that they want to use the vast array of educational videos on YouTube in their classrooms, but are concerned that students will be distracted by the latest music video or video of a cute cat."

YouTube EDU lets you specify what kind of age group you're looking to edutain, offering brain-enriching flicks for primary and secondary education, as well as university-grade students. Educators will want to investigate this site for teachers, which lets you search through YouTube's learning-based videos.

Some schools already block YouTube, forcing kids' attention away from distracting, life-affirming videos like this one about baby sloths. This new service could tempt schools to enable the site for students, providing at least some Internet-based distraction, even if it is the educational kind.

Sounds like a good idea to us, though we do miss the ritual of seeing our teachers haul out a telly on wheels and playing a VHS tape about the digestive system.

Does your school block YouTube? Would you be annoyed if it did? Tell us in the comments, or on our Facebook wall.