Google Play for Education Debuts in UK Schools

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After witnessing immense success in the US market, tech giant Google has now launched its Google Play for Education store in the UK.

Google has introduced its UK version of Google Play for Education to provide a child-friendly app store which is suitable for the classrooms.

Google’s Head of Education EMEA Liz Sproat explained in a blog post that the main intention behind launching Google Play for Education in the UK to assist schools in integrating technology into their curricula. She wrote that the aim is to “give more schools access to hardware and apps designed for the classroom, many of which have been customized for the UK curriculum.”

The app store was originally released in the United States and is basically an extension of the basic Google Play app store. In the Google Play for Education, the user can browse for apps which are suitable for primary and secondary school students. The different apps include Book Creator, Pocket Code and BrainPOP. The apps can be downloaded free of cost. The school administrators and teachers can order in bulk, too.

To ensure the students’ safety and to make sure the apps are appropriate for their age, each of the apps is submitted for inclusion. The FAQ section of Google Play for Education informs that the apps are not added until a “third party network of educators” approves it as student-friendly.

The FAQ details how effective this process can be:

“These educators assign the appropriate subject, grade, and common core standards metadata, as well as evaluating whether the app meets the Google Play for Education criteria for classroom use.”

Even though no charges are applicable, it is not necessary that the apps will be advertisement-free. Google prefers apps which have no ads, and the tech giant suggests that the apps offered in the special educational app store should disable advertisements, or place them discreetly.

According to Google, schools in UK which have been using Android tablets are experiencing deeper involvement in the app store from the teachers and students.

When a school decides to buy Android tablets from Google for Education, they have a range of devices to choose from including the Nexus 7 tablet and the Samsung Galaxy Tab 4. Teachers and administrators can help set up devices to make sure they are appropriate for classroom use.

There are various Management tools like Google Apps, Docs and Drive to monitor student activity. The extension store can be used to buy Google Classroom and applications.

The IT Manager of Barclay Primary School Luke Scott said explained how the activities can be monitored, “Teachers are able to look up apps independently on Google Play for Education, and tailoring the apps they share to the needs of the students. Students love how easy it is for them to access the application once it has uploaded to their tablet. They get excited by the fact that something has just popped up onto the screen — they are instantly engaged and want to use it.”