Canadian college goers, there might just be one less book tucked under your arm as you head to class this semester. Google has announced that Google Play textbooks are now coming to Canada. Students north of the border will have the option to rent or purchase digital textbooks and read them using Play Books on phones, tablets, and PCs.
As is the case in the US, textbooks aren't filtered out from other books on Google Play, so discovering them isn't as easy as it could be.
Back in May, Google announced "a new classroom," powered by Google's own tools. Appropriately, the effort was dubbed Google Classroom and previewed to educators around the world. Today, Google Classroom will become available to all Google Apps for Education users in 42 languages, optimized for both desktop and mobile use.
For those unfamiliar, Google Classroom is basically a web platform for managing assignments and projects - educators can assign projects, dispense information (through announcements or real time discussions), and collect assignments using Google's tools to spend "a little less time at the photocopier and a little more time doing what you love—teaching."
Coursera is a great app for learning about subjects like chemistry, computer science, and business, but your device is a little small to be watching lectures on, right? No problem—the latest update adds Chromecast support, among other things.
Developer Moondrop Apps has brought Drawp for School to Android, a collaborative creation tool that gives teachers the means of producing content and sharing it with their students. Considering the amount of time they spend both distributing and collecting assignments from their pupils, this is a clear itch for tech to scratch. Drawp can cut down on the time lost to the process and add in that extra bit of pizzazz.
Drawp serves as an all-in-one solution that deals with both ends of the experience.
Android is really turning into a jack of all trades, having become the OS of choice for phones, tablets, face computers, and now wristwatches. The combination of flexibility, open source code, and low cost of entry make it a prime candidate for countless utilitarian purposes. With the upcoming release of Android L, Google is aiming to make it even easier to deploy highly specialized environments with a new feature called Task Locking that allows a single app to take control of the interface and prevent users from switching apps or even seeing notifications.
Google is taking the stage at I/O 2014 to announce a lot of really interesting stuff, but if you listen carefully, you may hear a shout out to Udacity. The official Android app has been released in conjunction with the show, allowing you to learn programming at your own pace from your Android device of choice.
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.