YouTube ditches algorithm and ads for new education platform

YouTube is launching an ad-free version of its platform for education.

Announced in a blog post by Jonathan Katzman, director of product management YouTube Learning, Player for Education is a new embedded player that shows content on commonly used education apps without ‘distractions’ such as ads, external links or recommendations – i.e. users will be safe from YouTube’s algorithm that has been widely criticised for pushing radicalising content.

The exec said that it will also improve upon the existing YouTube embedded player in Google Classroom for “an even better YouTube experience”.

YouTube Player for Education launches in the US with edtech partners including EDpuzzle, Purdue University and Purdue Global. 

Commenting on the launch, EDpuzzle CEO and Co-founder Quim Sabrià said: “Everyday, teachers and students across the globe are using YouTube to learn, and YouTube Player for Education will help further learning in educational settings by allowing students to engage with new subjects distraction-free. We’re excited to be an early partner with YouTube to offer Player for Education and further EDpuzzle’s mission is to help students learn through video.”

Katzman’s post also details new features for content creators. Starting in 2023, qualified creators can begin offering free or paid Courses to provide in-depth, structured learning experiences for viewers. These will first launch in the US and South Korea in beta before a wider international rollout. 

Jess Chan, YouTube Learning creator and founder of Coder Coder, said: “Learning a new skill, like how to code, can be so difficult — from knowing where to start to where to go next — it’s a lot for someone to do on their own, and it’s easy to get lost. On my YouTube channel, Coder Coder, I’ve helped millions of viewers learn how to code and stay motivated throughout their coding journey. I’m so excited to be able to offer my viewers Courses, to help bring more even structure to their learning, provide exclusive content and, ultimately, enable them to be even more successful in their careers.”

Tags: YouTube

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