By John Glenday, Reporter

December 13, 2011 | 2 min read

YouTube has launched a schools-friendly version of its popular video sharing service to provide classrooms with a strictly filtered diet of educational videos.

The initiative is intended to eliminate the distraction of music videos and time wasting exploits by restricting pupils access to just a few educational channels sorted by subject matter and age.

YouTube EDU, Google hopes, will convince schools who have shied away from the platform to finally take the plunge.

Project manager Brian Truong wrote in a blog post: "We've been hearing from teachers that they want to use the vast array of educational videos on YouTube in their classrooms, but are concerned that students will be distracted by the latest music video or cute cat, or a video that wasn't appropriate for students.

"While schools that restrict access to YouTube may solve this distraction concern, they also limit access to hundreds of thousands of educational videos on YouTube that could help bring photosynthesis to life, or show what life was like in ancient Greece."

A partner site, YouTube for Teachers, will impart advice on how the site may best be used for learning.