YouTube launches an ad-free video player for education

YouTube is introducing a handful of new features for creators and institutions using the platform for educational content.

In a blog post today, YouTube says it is launching an embeddable video player for education apps that will remove ads, external links, and recommendations so that viewers can “avoid distractions.” Having a player without YouTube’s recommendation algorithm — built to let you watch and provide you with new content — is probably good for students using the platform for school. YouTube’s recommendation algorithm has been the subject of research for years on how it can provide extreme content and misinformation.

The ad- and recommendation-free player is open to select partners to launch, including education technology companies such as EDpuzzle, Google Classroom, Purdue University, and Purdue Global.

A YouTube course titled

Creators can create courses for free or paid.
Image: YouTube

YouTube also announced new tools for creators to create educational content on the platform, including ways to charge viewers for their videos. Starting next year, select creators will be able to create free or paid “courses,” with playlists of videos set up for the public. If a viewer buys a course, they can watch the content without ads and play the videos in the background. Courses are coming to the US and South Korea in beta first.

Finally, YouTube announced a new quiz feature that creators can set up in the community tab on their channel that relates to the educational content they create. The company will be rolling out quizzes in beta in the coming months, with creators getting access to the feature next year.

YouTube has introduced other initiatives and features around learning on the platform in recent years, such as a $20 million fund for creators who create educational videos and non-recommended playlists for topics like math, science, and music.

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