Google closing Google Play for Education to focus on Chromebooks in schools

Google confirmed it's focusing on Chromebooks in the education market.
Written by Jake Smith, Contributor

Google is closing its Play for Education product, a small segment of the Play store and the company's booming educational initiatives.

"As of March 14 or later, Google will no longer sell Google Play for Education licenses. We're committed to providing schools with the best-in-class tools for the classroom, including Chromebooks, which are the #1 selling device in US K-12 education, and a strong and growing ecosystem of educational apps," a Google spokesperson told TechCrunch.

Play for Education first launched in the US, followed by a launch in Canada and the UK in 2015. As an extension of the standard Google Play app store, 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 and pinged to devices.

"We'll continue to support our Google Play for Education customers and the devices that they have purchased," Google confirmed.

It's likely Google has shuttered its Play for Education project to focus on Chromebooks within the education market, rather than Android tablets. Google has an entire Google for Education division that focuses on selling devices to school districts.

In a December 2015 report, Chromebook sales surpassed 51% in the K-12 market nationwide in the third quarter, according to a report by market researcher Futuresource Consulting.

"It's a tidal wave: Chrome is the clear U.S. market leader now," said Mike Fisher, associate director of education technology at Futuresource. The analyst says school districts like the Chromebook's Web-based operating system, ease of use, IT manageability and $200 to $300 price range.

We've reached out to Google for further information.

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