Google Discusses Innovation in Classrooms with the International Society for Technology in Education


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Today Google is out meeting with thousands of educators and administrators at the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) conference in sunny San Diego.

The subject matter of the conference, as you would imagine, is how to bring more technology into the classroom. More specifically, Google's apps for education.

While Google may already have tens of thousands of apps in the App Store, they are about to add a couple more, and these ones specifically aimed at classroom education.

Here's what they had to say about the additions on their official blog:

It’s been really amazing to see how the web is impacting schools. We’ve heard great real-world stories about Google Apps for Education, but lately we’re hearing more and more about schools extending the functionality of Google Apps with educational apps available on the Chrome Web Store. There are tens of thousands of apps in the Chrome Web Store, and today we’re adding some new ones: ST Math, VoiceThread and Acheive3000.

To help fuel innovation in the classroom and to give students improved web access, Leyden High School District in Illinois is rolling out Chromebooks to all of their 3,500 students and getting them more engaged in one on one learning initiatives.

Google comments on the one to one learning initiative at the school:

It’s great to see that many schools are choosing Chromebooks as an effective and affordable 1-to-1 education tool. There are more than 500 districts in the U.S. and Europe actively using Chromebooks, and today we’re pleased to welcome a few more to the community, including Rockingham Country Schools, N.C., Transylvania County Schools, N.C., and Fond du Lac School District, Wis.

Chromebooks are always new—just last month we announced new devices, an updated, app-centric user interface and new pricing for schools. Chromebooks also make it just as easy for administrators to distribute 10, 100 or 1,000 Chromebooks, saving precious summer vacation time previously spent installing software and policies on computers. And great news for schools looking to make hardware purchases: the PARCC and Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortia confirmed Chromebooks meet hardware and operating system requirements for student assessments in the 2014-2015 school year.

At the conference today, Google is introducing something new for schools that use Chromebooks as part of their educational resources. Take a look at what they offer:

* Grade-level application packs are groups of Chrome Web Store apps that integrate tightly with Google’s suite of Apps for Education, divided by grade levels to meet different classroom needs. These packs are installable from the Chromebook management console. Many of them are free and we’ve worked with the app makers to offer discounts for bulk purchases.

* Organization-specific web app collections in the Chrome Web Store give administrators the ability to recommend apps to students, teachers and staff. The collection is visible only to the school, and admins can curate apps from the Chrome Web Store, application packs and web apps purchased elsewhere or private apps developed by the school. (This feature is also available to Chromebooks for Business customers from the control panel.)

According to Google, all you really need is the web for classroom instruction. They are doing their part to introduce as much technology as they can and make it accessible in the classroom. Google has participated in the ISTE for the past several years, and they are excited about bringing Chromebook and their apps to a wider audience.