Going to school online is what all the cool kids are doing. And the really cool kids are doing it without paying a dime (if you can stretch the definition of "school" to services offering commitment-free classes to thousands of people at once who don't earn college credit). Coursera is one of the more popular options for this non-traditional learning, and now it's got an Android app to make it even easier.
Diversify and fill all niches. Samsung seems to have learned its basic sciences, because they're applying a naturalist approach to the tablet market: a ton of models for consumers, new specialized versions for professionals, and now a tablet made just for the lucrative education market. Today Samsung announced a new Galaxy Tab especially for K-12 schools. It's only new in a technical sense - the hardware is clearly a black 10-inch Galaxy Tab 3.
Google Play for Education launched earlier this month as a curated market that distributes apps aimed at helping teachers with classroom instruction. Apps in this separate market are, naturally, both educational and kid-friendly. Another aspect of program is the ability for schools to place bulk orders for Nexus devices, and now an app is available to help school officials activate their tablets once the shipment arrives.
This app is intended solely for school administrators, helping them to set up their tablets and prepare them to access Google's educational app store.
Back at Google I/O 2013, Google Play for Education was announced. This is more or less a curated app market inside of Google Play that offers apps designed specifically for the classroom setting, which works well for both developers and teachers. As of today, Google Play for Education is officially open.
If you're a developer, getting your app into GPfE is actually quite simple – just mark your app for inclusion in the Developer Console.
Duolingo, the much-loved app/game for learning new languages, got its second significant Android update this morning since being released back in May. Version 1.2 of the app brings with it the ability to store up to an hour of lessons on-device for offline use. Previously, Duolingo required an always-on internet connection in order to download your lessons and stay in sync with the server, but with the latest update this is no longer necessary.
Google Apps Device Policy doesn't have a sexy name, and it doesn't need one. It's intended for businesses, schools, and governments that use Google Apps. Administrators can use the tool to enforce security policies and enact other policies that personal users have come to expect from Lookout and Where's My Droid. They are empowered to locate lost devices, cause them to ring, lock them remotely, and wipe all of their content.
Google Play for Education is starting to come together. Last week, Google threw up an 8-minute video detailing their new initiative. Today, developers can now mark their apps for "Google Play for Education" in the Play Store Developer Console. This is how Google intends to seed their new store, which will be heavily monitored and curated, quite unlike the Play Store itself. Marking an app will place it in a queue for evaluation by a third-party network of educators.
Google Play for Education, unveiled during Google I/O, is a program to get Nexus tablets into the hands of students and provide a curated app store offering content to fill those tablets with. Google released a video today aimed at the developers who may someday produce the apps that will eventually populate their store. It's also an interesting watch for educators curious about what technology may soon enter their classrooms and parents tired of their children learning on iPads (assuming their classrooms have tablets at all).
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.
When we think of tablet manufacturers, News Corp doesn't really come to mind off the bat. Yet, here we are. The international media conglomerate has announced plans for a branded Android tablet targeted at education called Amplify. The slate would come pre-loaded with Google Apps for Education, content from Common Sense Media, Merriam-Webster's Dictionary and a graphing calculator. Most of this can be acquired or supplemented on regular Android tablets, but having the system pre-built may make teachers' lives easier.