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Chicago Public Schools To Lift Ban On YouTube

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CHICAGO (CBS) — Students and teachers in the Chicago Public Schools will soon have another Internet tool — YouTube.

As WBBM Newsradio’s Bob Roberts reports, YouTube has been banned in the city’s public schools because of a fear that students would use it inappropriately.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Bob Roberts reports


Teachers prompted the change of heart. Hundreds told the Chicago School Board, as it sought input in its preparations to extend the school day, that access would provide them increased flexibility, quantity and variety of educational materials as well as the ability to be more creative and individualized in their instruction.

The system will use new Internet filters in order to balance staff access needs against those it has to protect students.

Fifteen schools are piloting the program, with a goal to allow access in all of Chicago’s public schools sometime this spring.

The announcement coincided with the first national Digital Learning Day.

For the occasion, schools chief executive officer Jean-Claude Brizard marked the day Wednesday by teaching a lesson on gravity and the solar system to middle school students at the Spencer School with the help of an iPad. The lesson was broadcast to 400 middle school students in 19 additional classrooms who then used iPad applications to narrate screencasts of what they had learned.

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