On 1st September 2021 YouTube (i.e. Google) introduced some key changes to how some people can view their school YouTube channel.
It was designed to make accounts more secure and easier to control privacy, however one side effect has meant many teachers have lost the ability to upload new videos or amend existing videos on their school channel and, in some cases, have lost access to their videos completely.
Let’s look briefly at the background to this. Previously known as G Suite, Google rebranded its collection of business production tools to call it Google Workspace, and subsequently introduced an education-specific version. Google Workspace for Education is described as “a set of Google tools and services that are tailored for schools and home schools to collaborate, streamline instruction and keep learning safe.”
If your school is using Google Workspace for Education, then the chances are many teachers and support staff will have been given an email address to use. This could look like this: email@example.com or something similar, but there is no definitive style. If your school is using GWE, then you will have an administrator who is responsible for distributing email accounts and who has access to the complete admin settings of your school account on GWE.
Many administrators will have issued email accounts to their teachers/support staff and marked them as ‘Under18’ because of the association with school children and the fact that the videos that are uploaded are largely aimed at the children.
And this is where the problem has occurred.
On 1st September Google implemented a rule that meant if you’re in a primary or secondary institution and marked under the age of 18 by your school administrator, you’ll have restrictions on YouTube content and features when you’re signed in to your Google Workspace for Education account.
These restrictions include watching live stream videos, engaging through notifications and comments, live chat and creating new content.
The real life implications for many teachers is that they can no longer access their school’s YouTube content, and we have had requests from some of our schools for copies of videos we have made for them, as previously they have always just accessed them through their YouTube channel.
So, what can be done about it?
As a teacher/support staff, the first step is to approach your school administrator and ask them to amend your Google account settings to mark you as over 18. When that is done you can log into your YouTube channel, go to create a channel, and complete the workflow. Your account will be made visible and you can continue creating videos on your school account’s YouTube channel.
If you are under 18, to avoid losing your YouTube content for good, you have until June this year (2022) to use Google Takeout to download and save your videos and other data (like comments and search history) that you’ve created on YouTube.
Google Takeout is a way to export a copy of content in your Google Account to back it up or use it with a service outside of Google.
Note, Google Takeout needs to be authorised by your School administrator before you can use it to rescue your content.
Other Google products that are affected by this change include Blogger, Google maps and Google Photos.
You can learn more here: