Google Play for Education
The ed-tech blogosphere had plenty to discuss in the wake of Google's recent I/O Conference. Google touted its expanding reach into education worldwide, which was vividly captured by a recent EdTech Digest infographic. The big reveal, though, was the announcement of Google Play for Education, a dedicated Android app store. Free Technology for Teachers' Richard Byrne notes the ability to push out apps across a classroom or school and predicts that the service "could make Android tablets a stronger challenger to iPads in education."
Over on Venture Beat, their story is headlined with a more bullish take: "Google Play for Education could kill the iPad in schools." It describes some of the app store's more intriguing features, such as the ability to search for apps by subject and grade level and to read reviews from other educators.
Unsurprisingly, Hack Education's Audrey Watters has a thoughtful take on the store's development that questions both the hardware and software directions Google is taking in its education strategy. She's not sold on keyboardless tablets as the best computer format for students, especially older ones, and sees the move to create an education app store as a move away from open, searchable content and standards.
Can't wait to see it yourself (and blog about it)? Byrne notes that interested parties can sign up to be notified when Google Play for Education is live, and Google has a site for app developers to find out how to submit content. In the meantime, brace yourself for the frenzy of commentary that's sure to occur once someone has actually used the store.
David Snyder is a reference librarian in ASCD's Information Resource Center.
ASCD Express, Vol. 8, No. 20. Copyright 2013 by ASCD. All rights reserved. Visit www.ascd.org/ascdexpress.