It’s not a secret that Google is omnipresent in the modern world. So Google’s attempts to penetrate into the sphere of education come as no surprise. About a year ago the company calmly expanded its presence in the sphere and today it increases its share at the educational goods market.
Thanks to the Google Apps for Education program, which has been offered to schools for free and introduced by a number of them, Google make it clear that the company is interested in this sphere. But up to this moment the use of the program has been limited by cloud services. So with the release of Google Play for Education the intentions of the company have become crystal clear, as the company has presented a service which will combine their best software and hardware and their app market .
Initially, the company revealed the plans about turning their Play Store into a virtual classroom during the Google I/O conference in May. Now Google officially releases the service after a 5-month beta-testing made with the help of teachers and pupils from more than 50 schools.
In practice, Google Play for Education is intended for helping people to search for educational applications and for helping content providers to reach wider audience. Not long ago Google made a research among teachers and system administrators and found out that the main problem they want to solve with the help of Google is saving time. In other words, being overloaded with busy schedules, they want to get instruments that will help to save time by assisting pupils in their studies and by creating new lesson standards.
In order to meet the expectations, Google uses a two-side approach which combines software and hardware. It begins with the offer for schools to choose one of the three “ready for school use” Android tablets. The first one of them is Nexus, which shows that the company is ready to provide the latest and the best devices for this program. Other tablets are Asus Transformer Pad and HP Slate 8 Pro, which will be introduced into the program next year.
But Google knows that in the sphere of education they compete not only with Apple and its iPad, but also with other education-centered devices, such as Amplify by Wireless Generation or Kno, which has been bought by Intel. To get a competitive edge over other competitors, Google unites Google Play and some other products into one package and offers wholesale purchases and instant spread of educational apps, videos and other content on Android tablets with the help of cloud services.
Google says that with the help of Google Play for Education teachers will be able to find the apps “approved by teachers for teachers”. Teachers will be able to find approved apps by class, subjects or, what is even more important, by Common Core standards. The company will even pay some teachers for reviewing the apps and will mark such apps with a special sign.
In order to minimize the efforts for launching the program, new tablets with Google Play for Education are created on the basis of Google Apps for Education. It means that pupils will be able to use their current Google accounts for identification without the necessity to register anew. Another key moment is that teachers, when finding a necessary app, can instantly order the app without using their own credit cards and waiting for the compensation from school afterwards.
From the other side, now schools and IT administrators will be able to organize class work with tablets in a couple of several simple steps. After setting up the first device, administrators will be able to download the list if pupils from the existing system and add new tablets via admin tablet.