Google has recently announced some apps for education at the Google I/O 2013 held in San Francisco last Wednesday. Google Play for Education is a specialized app store with content designed for students and teachers. With this new Google Play for Education solution teachers and administrators can quickly push apps to tablets and devices to student tablets directly from the Google Play App Store. This is exciting news and it will definitely transform classroom education.
The app store for educators consists of specialized educational apps that are targeted at specific skill levels and grades. Teachers can purchase these apps and it will be billed directly to the school, not to a teacher’s personal account. They can easily send apps to all their students at once, purchasing bulk licenses on schools’ dimes.
Applications that are in the Play for Education store can be sorted according to age and genre. For example you can find math-based applications that are appropriate for both kindergartner and high school students as well.
Another interesting fact about Play for Education is the ability for administrators to send out applications to their entire tablet fleet. So, if a school wants to send an app to their 200 Nexus 7 devices, they can do it by simply inputting the group’s name. The app will be pushed out by Google. They can even use Google+ Groups to push it to users in a specific classroom or grade level.
One question for which Google didn’t have any answer is that whether this service will completely take off all ads out of the classroom. Most often, many of the free apps are filled with ads that aren’t always appropriate for a school setting.
Google is slowly transforming the education scenario with the introduction of Android and Chrome connected education experiences. It aims to put Android tablets in the hands of students and teachers, and the custom, curated app selection in Google Play for Education will greatly benefit the tech-savvy schools. Google has also showed some footages of several test schools that are using 4G LTE equipped Chromebook Pixel notebooks to connect to the classroom and the web from anywhere.
“Chromebooks have gone mainstream in education — not just in US, but around the world,” a Google spokesperson told attendees.
For example, Malaysia is deploying Google apps and Chromebooks to its more than 10,000 schools. “They wanted to provide 4G connectivity across these schools,” he added.
In the Play for Education store, books and video can also be supported. Google Play for Education will launch in the fall, however developers can start submitting education apps immediately at through a dedicated developer website.