On Wednesday, Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) quietly announced that it would bring Google Play for Education to Chromebook, moving to make Chromebooks an even easier, more obvious solution for education than they have been in the past.
Google Play for Education is a platform for K-12 schools and teachers to use custom services and digital media to make their lessons more interactive and individualized for students. The platform, which allows schools and teachers to buy apps, books, and YouTube videos to distribute to their students, launched last year and until Wednesday, was available only for tablets. But on Wednesday, Google launched support for Chromebooks, opening up the platform to the thousands of teachers who use Google’s small, affordable, web-only laptops in the classroom.
The Chrome OS platform will enable teachers to distribute both Android and Chrome apps, plus digital media, from a single platform. TechCrunch reports that approximately 10,000 schools currently use Chromebooks in their classrooms, with some of them using both Chromebooks and tablets. As they have in the past with tablets set up with Google Play for Education, teachers will be able to distribute apps and media either to a single student or to an entire classroom.
Rick Borovoy, a project manager for Google Play for Education, told TechCrunch that the platform originally launched for tablets only because the team was interested in the educational potential of tablets in the classroom. Plus, he “wasn’t completely sold on the idea that schools would be interested in having students read books on their Chromebooks or that they would be interested in Chrome apps for their students.” However, teachers using Chromebooks “immediately” asked for a Chrome OS version of the store, so responding to those requests and the growing use of Chromebooks in U.S. schools, Borovoy and his team delivered.