15
May
1[4]

For Android fans with children, it can be a bit disheartening to learn that your kids are using iPads and iPods for learning every day. While this is becoming more and more standard across the country, Google is looking to change that with its newly announced "Google Play for Education." This is exactly what it sounds like: a specially curated version of the Play Store made for educational environments. It offers curriculum-based discovery for grades K-12, which will make it easy for teachers to find apps appropriate for his or her students. The program also includes bulk-ordering of unspecified Nexus tablets (assume the Nexus 7) to round out the experience.

image

Once an app is discovered, a couple of simple clicks will immediately send the application to students' tablets with zero hassle – much like the Play Store works for standard Android devices.

When it comes to purchasing apps, educators can fund their Play account with purchase order numbers, and any charges made in the Play Store will be automatically deducted from that.

Unfortunately, there's no word on device pricing for school districts, but educators are encouraged to sign up for more info.

Additional details:  Android Developers

Cameron Summerson
Cameron is a self-made geek, Android enthusiast, horror movie fanatic, musician, and cyclist. When he's not pounding keys here at AP, you can find him spending time with his wife and kids, plucking away on the 6-string, spinning on the streets, or watching The Texas Chainsaw Massacre on repeat.

  • http://twitter.com/crazifyngers crazifyngers

    PO support! man they need to release this for businesses. it would be sweet to be able to buy licenses for software on play store and assign it to users within google apps. if someones leaves the office, reassign the license. that would be amazing.

    • Mike Reid

      I'm OK with them testing this idea on kids first... :)

      Good practice.

      Good move for Google. Hopefully good for the kids too.

  • Chris

    disheartening? as long as the kids are getting an solid education who cares what device they use to get that education? I don't have kids, but if and when I do, I would want them to get a solid 13 (counting kindergarden) years worth of education plus college if they so desire. Its not like I'll pull my kids out of school just because the school uses macs or iPads. That would be pretty stupid. Just as stupid as not dating someone or being friends with them because they own a device from another platform.

    and before you go off on me, I own both an android phone and an iPad. Love them both. Both have their good and bad sides.

    • Dave

      First, Apple's general philosophy is in many ways anti-education: expensive devices with high markup, weak features for network and multi-device management, inability to sideload and weak options for developers to sell apps to schools for multi-device use with any special pricing, closed system so students and staff can't easily develop apps, various snafus in the past including things like blocking an app from a Pulitzer Prize winner due to its political content.

      Working in a school district, let me tell it to you like this:

      Apple shits on schools. Several years back, they carpet bombed all the school districts in my area and talked everyone into buying Apple servers with all kinds of promises, only to find out that the servers can basically just run their wiki/blog tool. It's been a disaster: updates to the server software literally deleted all the content on the blogs, for example.

      The problem is that technology moves ridiculously slowly in most corners of education. There is at least a five year lag in most districts, except for a handful of outliers where someone who actually understands technology integration works their way up high enough to make constructive decisions. So most CTOs in education are still enthralled by iPods, and they're just now realizing that iPads are useful and doubling-down on their purchases there. On the whole, they really have no concept of Android and just scoff at it when pushed, to hide their lack of knowledge.

      I'm just in rant mode now, but what people don't realize is that CTOs in education are absolutely terrible. There's no training for them as they climb the ladder, and it's usually a good old boy situation that favors people who went to school in the area or people who go to the same church as the district's leadership. It's scandalously bad. Most of them will buy whatever the Dell rep points at, or whatever's in the fake magazines filled with ad copy that show up at their office. They don't read blogs, they don't follow news, they don't do any hands on work, they don't go into the classroom or talk to teachers. They build entire departments around their complete lack of knowledge, so you end up with $80k "programmers" who really just forward emails on to outside consultants that send them crap code because no one can tell the difference. Ugh Ugh Ugh Ugh Ugh.

      • Chris

        Then explain why Apple has always been on top with education? Many schools want something simple, easy and low maintenance with out all the bullshit that other platforms have and with kids being the main users behind teachers and administrators. When you are in elementary school you are not writing 12 page essays on the Vietnam war or a paper on the american revolution. Most of the time its just educational games or kid pix.

        With thousands of apps theres bound to be an app that suits your style and if theres a small chance that theres not then submit it to the app store. No need for that sideloading bullshit.

        See with schools you can't just buy what ever and with all these budget cuts schools are facing today schools need to cut back. Theres schools who still use old computers. Even in my senior year of high school, a few of the computers still had Windows 2000, some XP and only a couple had Vista. my 4th grade year, I transfered from a school that had performas to a school that still had Apple II's and this was in 1999. Next year they got G3s. My point is, its not about not reading blogs or listening to dell reps. Its about the budget and you can bet if a school district is on a tight buget and they need new computers or ipads, they will choose ipads or some form of tablet.

        • Funem

          You should try implementing it and using it. If you cant you should read Apples own forums, its a nightmare. The reason its popular is "hey look what I can do at home with my iPad" and then its brought into the school and you find the whole eco system does not work as it should. Don't take my word for it check out the blogs and forum entries. Apple were not geared for this, and still are not. Locking down, sharing, administrating iPads is a complete nightmare and the costs spiral when you start to look at what you actually have to do and the cost of purchasing in an education environment. How do I know this, I have done it and I am doing it again now, One things for sure, in both instances the teachers have said its not what they expected it to be and were rather disappointed.

          This is a good blog with lots of comments regarding setting up and configuring under Apple... http://mgleeson.edublogs.org/2012/12/10/oh-apple-configurator-i-will-not-be-defeated/