By Alexandra Burlacu | May 16, 2013 10:33 AM EDT
The Google I/O 2013 keynote was full of cool announcements, including one for a less sexy market: Google Play for Education.
Google Play for Education aims to bring more technology into the classrooms and give Apple a run for its money in the field. The keynote mentioned how teachers often feel a gap between what if possible in technology and what is practical. The new Google Play for Education aims to bridge that gap.
"When I go visit my kids' classrooms, it looks pretty much exactly like it did when I went to school," said Chris Yerga, Google's engineering director at Google I/O, as cited by VentureBeat. "Teachers told us that in education, there's a huge gap between what's possible with technology and what's practical, especially with mobile technology. And they told us it was Google's job to fix this."
Google Play for Education was reportedly "built from the ground up to meet the unique needs of educators." Basically, the setup will come based on the needs of the particular teacher and, of course, the particular age and grade level. All apps will be added based on other teachers' recommendations.
At the same time, Google Play for Education is also tied to over-the-air (OTA) app installs. This means that teachers who log in using their Google+ account will be able to push apps to the devices their pupils use. This will help facilitate installation and keep kids focused on the app being installed rather than the wide pool of apps out there.
Teachers who want to take advantage of this program can enjoy a mix of both free and paid apps. Those paid apps can be billed to a central school account. Google plans to launch Google Play for Education sometime in the fall and the company currently accepts developer submissions.
Because it all has to be thoroughly tested for optimum results, six schools in New Jersey are currently undergoing a trial. Google noted that those six schools under trial used more than 500 apps in just one day. While that may not sound too impressive, take into account that those 500 apps are just for a relatively small number of schools. When Google rolls out the Google Play for Education program to any and all schools willing to participate that number will most likely explode to a much higher figure. Apple makes a big fuss about the use of iPads in schools and its contribution to education, but will it be able to retain its position once Android enters the scene?
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