Google is already leading the pack in terms of tablets and notebooks sold to K-12 education providers, according to recent numbers from research firm IDC, and now it has gained another powerful new ally: The New York City Department of Education. The NYC CIO has signed on with Chromebooks, and Google Apps for Education, as par of their approved and supported (from an IT standpoint) tools for this school year, and they’ve also built a guide to help teachers in their district get started.
The arrangement is good for Google because it means the company can reach another 1 million plus students, across 1,800 schools more easily. NYC’s CIO explains in a blog post that the reason they ended up supporting Chromebooks and Google Apps for Education is that a number of schools were already using it, so this isn’t all new customer gain. It is a big vote of confidence in Google’s education push, however.
Google is basically doing all it can to seed education markets with its affordable Chromebook tech, and these minimal devices are the perfect partners for the mostly web-based Google Apps for Education. Google also made a commitment earlier this year to keep Apps for Education user data from being used to sell and target advertising, which has probably helped them convince more boards, schools, teachers and education departments to partake.
The recent announcement by Microsoft that Skype support will be coming to browsers, and eventually to Chromebooks as well, does a lot to make these more useful in educational settings, too.