A major online marketplace for free and fee-based teaching resources, which also serves as a network for millions of educators globally, has announced a partnership that will bring Google’s educational resources aboard its website.
Adam Frey, an executive for TES.com, said the integrated platform will help teachers better access the millions of resources previously housed in separate ecosystems.
For its part, Google also announced that it would open up access to Google Expeditions, the app that houses a series of virtual reality “field trips” designed for K-12 classrooms. Previously, educators had to apply to become “Google Pioneers” to access the software.
In addition to its education-related editorial content, TES.com, owned by TES Global, based in London, allows educators to browse through an extensive library of both free and premium teaching resources. The company has also developed Blendspace, a software product which helps teachers create and market digital lesson plans.
As of the announcement of the partnership, the website’s nearly 8 million registered users will have streamlined access to software and professional development services related to Google Classroom, Apps for Education and Expeditions.
The methodical rollout of Google Expeditions in recent years has been closely watched by ed-tech experts tracking cutting-edge developments in the marketplace. The initiative marks one of the first efforts to bring large-scale adoption of virtual reality to K-12 classrooms.
Google Expeditions is compatible with Cardboard, a low-cost VR headset designed to be used by the same smartphones many students are already bringing to school.
With the partnership, educators will be able to access PD lessons aimed at helping them incorporate Google’s tech, such as the fledgling virtual reality field trips, into their classrooms more effectively. If they choose, teachers will also be able to apply the time spent on the online training for certification from Google.
Educators will be able to incorporate Google’s products into their own lessons, and potentially profit from their sale on the TES website. In the nearer term, educators who are already selling their lessons over TES will now be able to log in using their Google accounts and to market their digital wares through Google Classroom.
Moving forward, Frey expressed optimism at a deepening partnership. “There is no shortage of things we can do with a company like Google,” he said.