Google is pulling the plug on the app portal of its education initiative. The tech giant had launched Play for Education in November, 2013. The initiative gave educators in United States a simplified way of discovering and purchasing applications and books on a large scale and then push them to the Android tablets of their learners.
It was designed specifically for K-12 students. The apps are organized by subject matter as well as grade level. It also includes apps from partners like NASA and PBS. The initiative also included which could be rented or bought from the top five publishers for higher education. This helped college students to access study material on their mobile which in turn saved a lot on hardcovers.
When Play for Education was launched, schools had the option to choose from three devices which were termed classroom ready. The devices were, Nexus 7, Asus Transformer Pad and HP Slate 8 Pro. The starting price of the devices was $229 per device. Educators had to pay an additional $30 for management capabilities.
Google will stop selling the Play for Education licenses from March 14. The company has confirmed that it will continue to allow the current users to access the curated app store for the time their devices are in service.
Play for Education aimed at promoting the use of Android tablets for education however, the project did not succeed as much. Android tablets were not seen as capable of taking over the education needs of the students. Chromebooks on the other hand, are a completely different story. They compete well with companies like Apple and Microsoft.
This may be the reason why Google has decided to finally end its efforts for Play for Education and lay more emphasis on Chromebooks for education. It appears that Chrome is what Google has shifted its focus on, it doesn’t really need the Play for Education program any longer.