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Android Apps to Invade Schools

Android apps are planning an invasion of the education market, and teachers and administrators are taking sides in a serious tech battle.

The recent announcement of Google’s new app store for educators is interesting for a number of reasons. The move signals a clear attempt to cut off what, up until this point, has been a hard line between Apple and the K-12 marketplace. Yet, despite targeting a “Fall 2013” launch, there is little information available as to how many and what kind of apps will be available on the platform.

Google is touting the new ecosystem in this way:

  • Teachers can push apps to all synced devices in the classroom automatically;
  • Schools can fill “shared accounts” with funds from which teachers can deduct to make purchases; and
  • Teachers can push YouTube clips and books the same way they can apps.

This all seems pretty great, as it eliminates the need to manually put the content on each device. There isn’t much being said about the quality of the content that will be available, however. Developers will only be allowed to submit apps beginning this summer. That doesn’t leave a lot of time for quality control ahead of a fall launch. Also, Android is known for having an “all are welcome” policy. That means pretty much anyone who submits an app gets it onto Google Play. If that is the case with Google Play for Education, there may be a ton of substandard apps teachers will have to wade through to get to the gems.

The other hang-up to Google Play for Education is that for it to work in the classroom, each student will have to have not only an Android device, but also his/her own personal Google Play account.

Only time will tell if Google’s attempt to enter the education market pays off.