Google Play for Education launches in UK

Following success in the US, Google is launching the Google Play for Education store across the pond.

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Google

Google has launched a UK version of Google Play for Education, in order to give teachers a child-friendly app store suitable for the classroom.

In a blog post, Liz Sproat, Head of Education EMEA at Google announced the expansion of Google Play for Education in the United Kingdom, in order to "give more schools access to hardware and apps designed for the classroom, many of which have been customised for the UK curriculum."

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Originally released in the US, Google Play for Education is an extension of the standard Google Play app store. Within, you can find apps suitable for primary and secondary learners, which can be downloaded for free or ordered en masse by teachers and school administrators.

In order to maintain student safety and keep apps appropriate, every app submitted for inclusion must be approved by a "third party network of educators," according to the Google Play for Education FAQ.

"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," the FAQ states.

However, the apps are not necessarily advertisement-free. While Google prefers apps which to not contain ads, the tech giant recommends that apps offered in the educational store disable advertisements -- or at least be discreet.

UK schools who have been piloting Android tablets are seeing deeper engagement from both teachers and students as a result, Google says.

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When a school purchases Android tablets from Google for Education, a range of devices is available -- from the Nexus 7 tablet to the Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 Education -- teachers and administrators can set up devices to ensure they are suitable for classroom use. Management tools monitor student activity, Google Apps, Docs, Drive, and Google Classroom are available, and applications can be downloaded from the extension store.

Google Play for Education is tailored for educational purposes, where apps including Book Creator, Pocket Code and BrainPOP are approved by educators before appearing in the store. There are also region-centric downloads depending on the country of use. In the UK, for example, you can find a series of GCSE revision apps.

"Teachers are able to look up apps independently on Google Play for Education, tailoring the apps they share to the needs of the students," says Luke Scott, the IT Manager at Barclay Primary School. "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."

Read on: In the world of ed-tech

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