Google makes ed-tech splash with apps marketplace

Google's education app marketplace begins with 20 options.

Google opened an Apps Marketplace for educators Jan. 25, creating an online repository filled with learning management system (LMS) software, web-based grade books, and other content that could be shared among an entire school district or college campus with the click of a button.

The Apps Marketplace’s education category will start with 20 applications from 19 companies, according to Google’s official blog, and the applications can be integrated with existing app accounts, such as Gmail, Google Calendar, and Google docs.

Using free applications from Google’s new selection—which includes spelling and grammar tutorials and bibliographical management tools—could help educational technology officials avoid installing and updating software on dozens or hundreds of computers in a school or on a college campus.

Instead, ed-tech officials in K-12 schools and universities now can offer access to online grade books, for example, to every person on the institution’s network with the click of a mouse.

Opening an educational technology apps market could help quell lingering anxiety among school and campus technologists about Google’s leadership change, which the company announced Jan. 20.

The initial selection of education technology apps are “just the beginning,” according to Google’s blog. The company will soon make available applications from LMS industry giant Blackboard and test preparation company Knewton.

Claiming a spot on Google’s education apps menu could prove a boon to companies that once relied on word-of-mouth advertising. With 10 million people, Google Apps for Education provides an expansive market of technology-savvy customers, educators and business experts said.