Here’s an interesting statistic: According to video platform MediaCore CEO Stuart Bowness, 80 percent of U.S. K-12 schools block access to YouTube. I spent some time trying to verify this statistic, and while I couldn’t come up with anything definitive, it was clear that many schools are wary of allowing total access to the wide array of content YouTube offers. According to The New York Times, some educators are giving YouTube another chance, but some restrictions still stand between students and the usage of online videos as educational tools.
While MediaCore is interested in providing video content for classrooms, they would prefer if YouTube stayed out of their way. The company, which was originally planned as a service businesses could employ to launch their own video channels, is now shifting its efforts to the education market and has made some strategic business decisions to realize their vision.
The startup has raised $1.5 million since its launch last year and has acquired the video encoding platform Pandastream. The company formed a partnership with SchoolTube, a company that promotes itself as a safe and secure way of accessing educational video content, and also hired Alan Greenberg as its Director of Education. Greenberg made a name for himself as Apple’s former Head of Higher Education in Europe and Asia.
Bowness continued his commentary about YouTube by saying that “it isn’t perceived as a safe place to send kids to learn.” (Sal Khan would likely disagree). By using MediaCore, Bowness says, teachers can have more control over what video content they wish to share with students, other teachers and even parents.
The company wants to simplify the entire process of using video in the classroom from start to finish. MediaCore will offer educators the ability to record, manage and store video content and deliver it to students in a protected environment managed exclusively by the teacher.
MediaCore’s educational efforts will also mirror the services they provide for businesses, which allow customers to compile video collections and categorize, tag, and sort content by relevance and popularity. Users can customize their sites by adding their own logos and backgrounds and—if they are somewhat tech savvy—include their own domain or their own podcasts.
It is easy to see how this model could be attractive to teachers. As more students rely on mobile technology and online content, a teacher’s personalized video channel begins to sound like a great idea.