Google is rolling out an expansion of their education initiative (Google Play for Education) in the K-12 market with a number of announcements and new partnerships, timed in conjunction with the Florida Education and Technology Conference (FETC). Houghton Mifflin Harcourt will "provide access to a broad range" their K-12 education content to Google's content store, and Google's blog indicates the Education store will also offer "classic literature" from publishers including Penguin Random House and HarperCollins.
The "affordable access model" makes that content available for 60-, 180-, or 360-day periods, and "provides educators with the flexibility to regularly access updated versions, change curricula from year to year, or to customize reading materials to individual students." The program has been in a pilot phase in recent months; Google offers "case studies" from three schools on their site. HMH says "K12 content will become available in Google Play for Education in the coming weeks."
The program offers enterprise-style content licensing as well as device management and discounted educational apps. As part of the rollout Samsung announced a new version of their Galaxy Tab that integrates Google Play for Education "which will be available for K-12 school deployments for the 2014-2015 academic year."
They will start selling it in April. Lenovo and Toshiba have both announced Chromebooks designed for classroom use, and cloud-based teaching and learning application GoClass announced integration with Google Play for Education as well.
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