Strengths: Cost, security; educational potential of YouTube; ease of use; general focus on utility (as compared to a list of features of questionable value)
Weaknesses: Weak app ecology compared to Apple; sometimes clumsy user interface; general polish; district filtering sometimes still an issue
What Is Google For Education?
Google for Education has Google Drive and its varied distribution tools as its core. Through the use of Google Docs, Drive, mail, calendar, and more, teachers can create virtual classes, track document changes, participate in discussions, and more–what many teachers have been doing for years, but in a formal package that can also serve alignment across classrooms and schools.
Google for Education made news recently when New York announced that it had approved Google’s Chromebooks for use in their schools. It’s nothing revolutionary, but it doesn’t seem like revolution is very much in demand in most schools.
In that way, Google apps and Google for Education make a lot of sense for schools and districts trying to unify their digital practice under a single #edtech ecology.
Google for Education also has a reputation for lower-cost, as Chromebooks and Nexus tablets cost less than Apple counterparts, and Microsoft’s education strategy continues to be legacy-based and murky.
With lower cost, broader acceptance, and a burgeoning app ecology, Google’s move in education seems both trending up and curiously sluggish, perhaps a product of Google’s own hesitance to embrace the kind of marketing that has made Apple such a recognizable brand.
How that concept of branding and ecology translates to education and its varied system continues to play out in districts nationally.