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Report: Richmond students have YouTube open 5 hours a day

Posted at 1:33 PM, Mar 08, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-08 13:33:24-05

RICHMOND, Va. -- Richmond Public Schools (RPS) students average almost five hours a day on YouTube, according to a Chromebook Usage Data report presented to the school board Monday night.

The report noted RPS students are logged into their school-issued Chromebooks for five hours per day. For four hours and 42 minutes of that time, students have YouTube opened on their laptops.

The report said even having the website open without engaging with it will count towards the time total.

"I wish there was a great solution to this," Richmond School Superintendent Jason Kamras said. "I'm sure there are additional things that we can do, and so I'm looking forward to seeing what they come up with."

Kamras said some reasons why the number may be high include many teachers use YouTube for instruction and some students listen to music on YouTube while working on assignments.

"It certainly seems high to me," Kamras said when CBS 6 asked about the report. "But you got to take this data with a grain of salt."

"The Chromebooks at middle and high school go home every night," he added. "So obviously they have access to use them for homework and to watch other things using the Chromebook."

The superintendent explained that Richmond Schools put greater restrictions on YouTube last year but heard from a number of teachers that it was affecting their classroom instruction because innocuous materials were being blocked.

Kamras mentioned he has a committee of teachers and parents researching best practices across the country and will take a look at adding other restrictions that better accommodate instructors.

This is a developing story, so anyone with more information can email newstips@wtvr.com to send a tip.

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