Google has been taking steps to improve the quality of education one can access on the internet. Its latest step towards the cause has been the introduction of the Chromebook App Hub for Google for Education, created in collaboration with educators, school administrators, and educational software developers.
Asking the questions to teachers regarding the number of hours spent on the internet to find the perfect content for classroom teaching; the Curriculum specialists and IT administrators regarding the number of hours spent sifting through app requests from teachers to see how to come up with better tools to aid in classroom teaching while also subscribing to district policies; and to EdTech developers regarding the time spent on trying to convince educators of the benefits of using their apps; Google provides a singular solution in the form of the Chromebook App Hub.
The Chromebook App Hub, claims Google, is an online resource created to help educators, administrators, and developers work together and learn not only about Chromebook apps but also gain ideas for school activities. In its blog post, Google has cited some early feedback on its latest venture.
By being part of the App Hub we can showcase how Book Creator brings creativity to Chromebook classrooms, and demonstrate transparency around our data policies and product accessibility. We’re thrilled to be a part of this fantastic new resource that empowers educators to discover apps for their classroom – Dan Amos, the CEO of Book Creator
Edtech is one of the few industries where each stakeholder wants the same result – improved outcomes for all students. With the App Hub, it’s clear that Google for Education is making strides to facilitate greater collaboration around this shared goal, and we’re thrilled to be a part of it. Chromebooks have totally revolutionized the accessibility, flexibility, and safety of digital learning, and building our products on their platform was the best decision we’ve ever made – James Francis, the CEO of Screencastify
While developing the app hub, Google also consulted non-profit policy partners like Student Data Privacy Consortium (SPDC) to measure out the implication of using the apps on students’ data privacy. The feedback received from that end also seems to be a glowing recommendation in Google’s favor.
The App Hub will also be a great tool for schools and states as they look for resources like the SDPC to address changing privacy policies. Districts can align the information in the App Hub to their local resource approval processes, which will greatly improve the on-boarding of new apps and the transparency in their usage for districts – Larry Fruth, the CEO of Access 4 Learning (A4L), the non-profit group behind the SPDC
As already mentioned, Google is not merely satisfied with EdTech developers but have also been consulting educators to better understand how to create and utilize an educational app befitting a classroom environment. Such an app, states Google from its myriad types of research, should aim to inculcate within them differentiated instruction strategies and links to additional resources like videos, activities, and websites to achieve success.
One of the best things about App Hub is the idea sparks that go with them. In my experience, teachers learn about applications in two ways: learning about a new lesson idea that has the app integrated into it, or hearing about an app that sounds awesome and want to get ideas about how to use it. Idea Sparks give teachers an opportunity to learn about new idea sparks and, even better, will provide an opportunity for teachers to share what they have created. As an idea contributor, it is an amazing experience to share what I am successfully doing in my classroom with educators around the world – Kate Petty, the Director of Educational Learning at EdTechTeam
Dr. Roland Rios, President of TCEA in Texas and Director of Technology for Ft. Sam Houston ISD in San Antonio, had helped Google with early feedback on App Hub from a practitioner’s perspective. He has gone on to say, “The new Chromebook App Hub gives us just what we need – a network of passionate and dedicated developers building for education creating for educators who are eager to mindfully integrate technology into the classroom. With the App Hub, we will find new tools to engage students, and we will connect to other teachers who are using these tools and providing lesson ideas. And as an administrator, the transparency around data policies and accessibility is helpful for decision-making.”
Chromebook App Hub is expected to launch in the later part of the year, with Google still looking for active participation from educators with idea sparks and developers interested in being a part of the App Hub Community.