Monday, March 3, 2014

New tools for schools announced at SXSWEdu



This week the Google for Education team will be at SXSWEdu. This event brings together educators, innovators, startups, content providers, large companies and hackers, all focused on the same mission: providing the best learning experiences for students.

As our team talks to educators and developers alike, we keep hearing the same thing — people want better ways to connect with each other and discover the best tools. Developers need feedback to make great apps, manufacturers want to understand what Administrators need from devices, and teachers need easy ways to find the right content.

Today, in collaboration with many partners, the Google for Education team is announcing new tools that will help bring the best of edtech to schools.

Providing even more affordable device choices to schools
When it comes to technology deployments in education, affordability and manageability can make the difference between leveling the playing field or widening the gap. We’re pleased to see that Oakland Unified School District has chosen the Dell Chromebook 11 to bring 8,000 laptops to its 3rd through 12th grade classrooms, helping provide equitable access to information to all of their students.

Today we’re also adding more choice for schools looking at Chromebooks. Samsung announced the new Samsung Chromebook 2 Series, with more than 8 hours of battery life, more memory, a faster processor and a more durable design. There are two models that will be available for both schools and consumers in April:

  • 11” Samsung Chromebook 2 in Classic White or Jet Black, for $319.99.
  • 13” Chromebook with a full HD resolution screen with 250-nit brightness and high-quality audio for a superb Google+ Hangouts experience. This device will come in Luminous Titan Gray for $399.99.

The Samsung Chromebook 2 series adds to the already deep line up of Chromebooks for Education, including new Lenovo Yoga and Thinkpad Chromebooks, Toshiba Chromebook and Dell Chromebook 11.

Making it easier to find the best content for students

Tablets with Google Play for Education help K-12 schools put the right apps, books, and educational videos in the hands of students. Today we're introducing multiple improvements that make it easier than ever to incorporate the right digital content into the classroom:

  • Access thousands of K-12 books - Starting today, K-12 books are available to all schools using Google Play for Education. With a broad catalog ranging from classic literature to recent textbooks, it’s easy for teachers to get the right reading to each student. James Eichmiller, Director of Instructional Technology at Forest Park School District 91 in Illinois, helped test the program and appreciated the flexibility:
"The books in Google Play for Education have been an outstanding classroom resource for us. Instead of buying a set of books and being locked into using them for years to come, our teachers enjoy having the freedom to select books that fit the needs of their current students and share them immediately. This differentiated approach is essential as schools adopt the Common Core and work to improve student reading abilities."

  • Find the best app for the job - It’s easier than ever for teachers to find the right content for their lessons. Reviews from Google Play give a quick view into pros and cons, and new app details show the grades, subjects, and common core standards an app supports.
  • Reassign apps as needed - When students transfer or change grades, schools shouldn’t lose the investments they’ve made in great apps. That’s why we’re adding the ability to reassign licenses for the educator-approved apps in Google Play for Education, starting on April 2. We're also making it easier for schools to keep tablets clutter-free by uninstalling apps remotely, right from Google Play for Education.

Students read on Nexus 7 tablets at Edison Elementary in Council Bluffs, IA
Learn more
If you are about SXSWEdu stop by the Google Lounge in room 602 on the 6th floor of the Hilton Austin. If you aren’t here in person follow the action with hashtags #googleedu and #sxswedu.