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Google Makes a Play for Educators; HMH Signs On

Google has signed on a major education publisher to be part of its Google Play for Education push. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (HMH) will start promoting some of its educational titles, including GO Math! and Journeys Common Core, through the new K-12 program.

Google Play for Education is a "content store" specifically for educators that provides Web content, some free and some for sale, organized by subject, grade, and learning standard. That content can be distributed directly to devices in use by schools or classes. The program also sells tablet computers in bulk to schools and districts.

The materials to be added by HMH can be read on Android tablets, Google Chromebooks or online via the Play Books reader.

Teachers will be able to purchase the use of HMH content for 180- or 360-day periods. According to a statement from Google, the materials will be updated regularly and the digital approach will allow schools to change their curriculum from year to year and more easily customize the reading material made available to each student.

"We believe that for a learning transformation to truly take hold, students and teachers must have great access to quality content," said Mary Cullinane, chief content officer and executive vice president of corporate affairs at HMH. "By supporting multiple methods of distribution, HMH provides customers with the choice and flexibility to tailor content delivery to their technology resources and to the needs of the student."

Currently, Google Play for Education is being piloted in "select" schools. One district that's testing the program is Hillsborough Township Public Schools in New Jersey. Google supplied the 7,400-student district with 3,000 Nexus 7 devices with Google Play apps for use in K-4.

"Using the Google Play for Education store is very, very easy," said Danielle Gradone, third-grade teacher in the district, in a video made by Google. "It allows me to send out whatever app I've chosen to the entire group."

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a writer who covers technology and business for a number of publications. Contact her at dian@dischaffhauser.com.

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