Note: Smart Play is currently a beta release. This feature is fully functional and fully tested and is in use by schools around the world and can be used safely in the classroom. We will keep it in beta for an extended period of field use in order to fine-tune database categorizations with real-world usage.
Relay puts comprehensive YouTube and video controls right at your fingertips. With Relay’s Video settings, you have full control over your users’ interactions with YouTube. Relay allows you to allow or block specific videos and channels, set a variety of options, and block or allow entire content categories. In addition, Relay provides you with the option to use Smart Play, an education-focused machine-learning categorization of videos that allows educational videos and always blocks adult videos.
Relay allows you to use Smart Play to fully customize and control YouTube content.
Lightspeed Systems Smart Play is the best way to manage videos for your users. We’ve taken our machine learning AI database engine and turned it loose on YouTube to accurately categorize videos. You can easily and safely allow educational videos in just a click.
Smart Play helps you:
- Save time – no need to create and maintain manual lists
- Improve learning – no blocking educational videos; no frustrating users as they try to teach and learn
- Maintain safety and acceptable use – you don’t need to open all of YouTube to get the good stuff
You can access the Videos section by navigating to Internet Access > Video Rules.
The Video Rules section starts off with two key options: Allow or disallow YouTube and enable or disable Smart Play. Your first choice is whether you want your users to be able to browse youtube.com, period. By default, YouTube is allowed. You can completely disable YouTube by selecting the Block YouTube option from the dropdown menu. Otherwise, keep the Allow YouTube option selected. The Allow YouTube option allows complete access to YouTube with safety controls and settings you can customize. The Block YouTube option disables YouTube, only allowing access to videos that are directly shared with them by teachers or those embedded on an allowed site.
You can enable Smart Play by toggling the switch to the right of Smart Play. Once Smart Play is enabled, you will also have the option to allow other videos (videos that are not categorized and therefore not filtered by Smart Play. We recommend that you leave this option disabled for students. You may opt to enable it for teachers in order to allow access to non-educational and uncategorized content.)
Note: Categories are not available if Smart Play is enabled as Smart Play overrides YouTube’s native categories. We recommend using Smart Play over YouTube Categories as Smart Play intelligently categorized videos while YouTube categories are set by video uploaders, who do not always set categories correctly.
Smart Play Student View
The following is a sample student view of YouTube when Smart Play is enabled and YouTube browsing is allowed.
Videos that fall into your Allowed Categories/Lists will display their thumbnails and will play normally when opened by a student.
Videos that fall into your Blocked Categories/Lists will display a green blocked sign. If a user clicks on them, a block page will be displayed.
Smart Play Tips
Tip: Do not add youtube.com to your Custom Allow or Custom Block Lists.
Tip: Do not use youtu.be short URLs for Custom Allow and Custom Block Lists. Use the full URL.
Tip: Enable the option to block unknown videos for students. You may want to disable it for teachers/other users.
Tip: You can't locally allow/block topics
Tip: Add teacher/district YouTube channels to your Allow list. That way, curated content can easily reach students as videos are added to the channel.
Tip: You can see how a video is categorized by searching for it in the top search bar.
Smart Play vs. YouTube Restricted Mode
Smart Play offers better functionality and is easier to use than YouTube Restricted Mode.
The following table show differences between YouTube’s Restricted Mode and the Smart Play function of the Web Filter.
|YouTube Restricted Mode
|Cannot be easily customized.
||Can be easily customized with local recategorization.
|Channel and video classification handled by YouTube.
||Channel and video classification handled by Lightspeed’s dedicated team
|Limited individual video/channel classification control
||Full individual video/channel classification control with Custom Allow and Block Lists
|Cannot specifically block uncategorized videos.
||Can specifically block uncategorized videos.
|No reporting functions.
||Ability to run reports that directly show YouTube activity.
Note: Although Smart Play is the superior solution, you can still opt to use YouTube Restricted Mode instead of Smart Play if you believe that it is a better solution for your specific set up. Make sure to turn YouTube Restricted Mode on and Smart Play off if you chose to do so.