Play and Education, can the two activities go together? Well it can, in the form of ‘Google Play for Education”, which is described a destination where schools, students and parents can find great educational content on Google play, the app centre for Android devices. The primary purpose of this platform it to enable developers and e-learning content providers to reach K-12 teachers, educators and students in US through Android propelled devices. The platform is the educational wing of the existing Google Play store where anyone can procure education content in the form of apps, books and videos. This content can be accessed on any Android tablet or device.
Google Play for Education is not the first time where Google is taking an initiative to promote educational content through a technological medium. In 2010 Google launched YouTube Edu in an effort to democratize learning via medium of internet. In almost every educational institute YouTube is ban from access due to reason varying from bandwidth limitation and its potential to distract student from studies. However, in an age when Internet governs the most basic need of individuals, it is unfathomable to not use the wonder of the World Wide Web in education. Holding the thought and perhaps drawing inspiration from Khan Academy a nonprofit educational website, Google launched YouTube Edu. Within a short span of its opening YouTube Edu attracted a lot of teachers, parents and student to the platform and today there are over 700,000 high quality educational videos from over 800 educational channels. Additionally, the platform has a separate destination for teachers called the YouTube teachers, where educators can create their own channels and post interactive lessons for Free.
To take learning one notch higher, Google is not venturing in the app market with an educational get up. This move is pretty impressive and strategic, especially at a time when the use of Smartphone’s and tablet computers is very popular. Google Play for Education has a potential to grow as it will give impetus to several existing educational apps that were lost in a mixed pool of applications.
Those who wish to use the power of Google Play for Education to promote educational content can use the Google Play Developer Console to mark the apps for inclusion. Currently, Google is initiating the process of piloting Google Play for Education in various schools across the Unites States. Marking apps is important as the entry app will be evaluated by a third party network comprising of teachers and educators. An application will qualify the analysis, if it meets the standard of high quality content resting on appropriate subject, grade, and common core standards metadata. In addition to that the application should also meet the criteria set Google Play for Education team.
Developers are educational content providers must adhere to the following key notes, if they wish to present their applications on Google Play for Education.
- Have a detailed look at the Guidelines for Apps so as to ensure that the application adheres to the requirement set for the K-12 environment.
- Test the application so as to ensure that is it aptly optimized for Android tablet.
Once a developer marks his/her app for inclusion, intimation via email from Google will follow to inform whether the application is accepted or not. Usually the entire procedure can take up to duration of 3-4 weeks.
This initiative of Google will help the educational community at larger. School will benefit from it as they will get access to quality content as well an interactive and innovative medium of learning. Students and children will benefits from this new approach to education and it will over rule the limitations of conventional norms of imparting education. For educational apps developers and content publishers this is an ideal platform to get noticed and reach out to a larger student community. In short it’s a win-win situation for all.
Photo Credit: Flickr/Adam Dachis