Talk to most five year olds today and they know how to use their mummy and daddy’s iPhones; sometimes better than the parents, so it’s no wonder bringing tech into schools is a good idea. However Apple won’t be handing out their iPads anytime soon, it’s Google whos got the bug. At the company’s sixth annual developer conference among other treats they announced the launch of ‘Google Play for Education’ to be opened in the autumn. The new store will hold apps just to be used for educational purposes. The apps will be organised by year, level and subject and have all been tested by educators so schools and teachers will know that the apps can be trusted and useful. If Google can get their Android tablets and Chromebooks into schools too, well they’re on for a winner.
Apple Vs Google in the Education Sector
Apple did start this early however with it’s own ‘education store’ but Google beats it on one important matter; price. If it’s not already obvious it’s clear that Google is no longer just a search box; Android phones and tablets, as well as Chrome books that are all cheaper than the overpriced iPads and macbooks and arguably easier to use and keep. Which means Google doesn’t just have the apps anymore, Google has the equipment you’ll be using the shiny new apps on. This isn’t all talk though either, Google recently announced that the whole of Malaysia — ten million teachers and students — will be using Google Apps for education to improve its education system which makes the two thousand schools using Apple in America sounds like petty cash.
Easy Deployment a key to Google’s Potential Success
But it’s not just the apps and the quick start up times that are attractive to school boards, but the fact they have more control over what the students can be looking at which is harder on the Apple equipment; as well as this Google has got the ability of bulk buying, making it easier for schools so they don’t have to download to every tablet of chromebook individually. Teachers can set up and deploy large number of devices in minutes or hours rather than days which means no time is taken from their time usually spent marking and planning lessons.
It’s unlikely they will be overtaking Apple anytime soon but they are certainly getting ready for a fight and in this economy is it possible the cheaper man will win?
Thanks to Alexandra Wylllie for contributing today’s blog.