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Google looks to take on Apple in the education sector

It seems as though many school districts — for better or worse — are looking to add tablets into the classroom to aid in learning. Google is obviously aware of this growing trend and is trying to ensure that tablets running Android OS are on a level playing field with Apple’s iPad — the dominant player in the educational tablet market.
 
As a result, Google Play for Education launches today as a way to distribute educational apps for K-12 classrooms. Google Play for Education aims to make it easy for schools to bulk purchase educational apps and distribute them to students’ tablets via the internet.
 
While most Android tablet apps get knocked for being “stretched smartphone apps”, Google is pushing hard for developers to optimize their educational suites for 7” and 10” tablet form-factors.

 
Also, to ensure that Google Play for Education isn’t flooded with a slew of shoddy apps, each educational app must be submitted for approval not only from a Google reviewer, but also an educator. Google doesn’t indicate what the credentials of the “educator” will be, but does note that they will “perform a first-pass qualification of apps, assigning the appropriate subject, grade, and common core standards metadata.”
 
It will be interesting to see how tablets play out as a tool for learning in the coming years. Curriculums must be adapted to integrate them, and simply throwing technology at teachers and students might not always be the best solution, as Bill Gates famously stated last year.
 
In an interview with The Chronicle of Higher Education in June 2012, Gates stated, “Just giving people devices, that has a really terrible track record. You really have to change the curriculum and the teacher and those things, and it's never going to work on a device where you don't have keyboard-type input.”

Sources: Google [1], [2]





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