Print 10 comment(s) - last by Motoman.. on Nov 13 at 6:28 PM

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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By Motoman on 11/13/2013 11:50:32 AM , Rating: 2
Sorry was true for Apple, and it's true for you too.

There is zero reason to force tablets into schools. None.

No school system should spend a dime on this kind of stuff.

RE: No.
By Brandon Hill on 11/13/2013 12:01:22 PM , Rating: 2
As I mentioned in the article, it just doesn't make sense without full integration with the curriculum. The way my wife's school district has just dropped iPads into her [and other K-5] classrooms is borderline idiotic.

RE: No.
By rlandess on 11/13/2013 3:08:37 PM , Rating: 2
I have to agree. We are mid deployment in our system and there was very little curriculum developed before the rollout began. The benefits tablets bring to the classroom depend entirely on the ability of the teacher to adapt their curriculum utilize the devices. That being said, there are probably one in ten who are able to do this, even one year into the pilot. I'm not convinced that they offer any advantages for most students. The idea that perpetuates the adoption of these devices is that the future depends on our being able to use them. The fact that we have to worry about training our teachers and students to USE the most intuitive computing device ever made is a bleak statement about society itself.

RE: No.
By Motoman on 11/13/2013 6:28:41 PM , Rating: 2
The idea that perpetuates the adoption of these devices is that the future depends on our being able to use them. The fact that we have to worry about training our teachers and students to USE the most intuitive computing device ever made is a bleak statement about society itself.

Precisely. A 4-year old can learn to effectively use a tablet in a couple hours. If you have a need for "education" on how to use a tablet then you most definitely should be in special ed courses (where, to be fair, maybe there's a use for tablets)...but beyond that if a tablet is difficult for you to grasp, I can't imagine you getting and retaining a job as simple as running the register at McDonald's.

Kids need to continue to learn on actual computers. They need to learn to type, and to use productivity software at a minimum. Tablet know-how will come automatically.

RE: No.
By retrospooty on 11/13/2013 12:29:09 PM , Rating: 2
Yup... It would be different if we were flush with money, but we obviously arent and wont be for ... possibly our lifetimes.

Total waste of taxpayer money for anything like this. If the goal was there and the infrastructure to replace physical books with a cheap e-reader maybe... A CHEAP ereader.

RE: No.
By Brandon Hill on 11/13/2013 12:30:01 PM , Rating: 2
RE: No.
By fic2 on 11/13/2013 1:58:44 PM , Rating: 2
I think their iPad textbook pricing is rather optimistic and assumes no iPads break during the period.

RE: No.
By fic2 on 11/13/2013 1:55:56 PM , Rating: 2
I have educational games on my Nexus for my daughter. She is struggling with math so I got a bunch of math games. Unfortunately, it doesn't seem like some of them can run in restricted mode in her account.

RE: No.
By ven1ger on 11/13/2013 1:58:56 PM , Rating: 2
Actually, you are wrong. For certain areas, it actually makes a lot of sense to incorporate tablets. Maybe not for the entire school, but at special ed children, tablets are a great learning and responsive tool for educators to use. The use of tools like tablets have been phenomenal in Special Ed.

Even in the use for pre-K kids it may be helpful but generally speaking for older kids, laptops/computers are more likely a better use of technology.

RE: No.
By xerionsoft on 11/13/2013 2:38:38 PM , Rating: 3
I agree with ven1ger, tablets are very good teaching tool for kids with special needs. I created an app for kids with autism to help them learn emotions by looking at facial expressions on the request of a teacher. It's called Social Emotional Exchange and is available on iTunes at

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