A new effort to offer educators a source for finding ed-tech tools is being launched by Google for Education later this year.
Called the Chromebook App Hub, this online resource will give teachers and administrators a place to search for digital learning resources, and developers of K-12 ed-tech businesses a place to make their products’ availability known. The hub is being introduced at SXSWedu this week.
Google began developing this resource after inquiries from “countless educators and administrators” seeking apps for the K-12 classroom, a Google spokesman said in response to emailed questions. “We want to help them discover apps that meet their needs.” Google announced the plan for the hub in a blog post—but isn’t ready to roll it out to all schools.
When the hub is officially released later this year, it will be the latest entry in a growing category of directory-style resources dedicated to helping teachers, principals, and chief technology officers find digital tools for their schools.
Last year, the ISTE EdTech Advisor was launched as a joint project of the International Society for Technology in Education and LearnPlatform, with the goal of allowing educators to share opinions about apps and other ed-tech tools based on their classroom or district-wide experiences using them. Common Sense Education also publishes reviews and ratings in an effort to help educators identify products. And ProcureK12 by Noodle Markets goes beyond listing vendors’ products, adding quote requests and bid management to its offerings for educators who use its platform.
Developers can list their ed-tech products on the Chromebook App Hub for free. To do so, they must be “transparent about their data and accessibility policies,” according to the Google spokesman.
Among the requirements for companies that want to be listed on the hub: sharing procedures around Google API integrations, third-party integrations, data policies, accessibility policies, and device requirements. Data privacy is another area that will be covered in products’ listings. Developers are also being asked to be transparent about what specific features are included in the free and premium versions of their products, if they offer both. Administrators will be given information about purchasing options for site licenses and classroom options as well.
“Idea sparks” about how to use apps in the classroom will be another feature of the hub. These will include tips for success, differentiated instruction strategies and links to additional resources such as videos, activities, and websites.
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