Look to occupy mind space of school kids

Technology giants Apple and Google are looking to dabble in India’s lucrative education market, with both companies recently having rolled out programmes that make a foray from both the hardware and software angles.

Google, according to people with direct knowledge of the matter, has rolled out a pilot programme in Andhra Pradesh, distributing close to 50 of its trademark Chromebook laptops to a few schools.

“Yes, the Chromebooks were just delivered last month. Its at a pilot stage right now, we have to wait and see the success of it [the programme],” said S. Rajendran, Chief Marketing Officer, Acer India, whose company makes the Chromebooks that were sent to the schools.

The Chromebook programme in India is an imitation of a similar initiative Google has been running in the U.S. — where the company’s laptops are used in nearly 22 per cent of U.S K-12 school districts. Chromebooks have seen adoption in educational institutions primarily due to their lower price, and also because it can be managed and deployed easily.

Apple, on the other hand, is looking to tackle the education market through its software. On Wednesday, the iPhone maker expanded its iTunes U Course Manager software service to India—a programme that several analysts say will indirectly help put more iPad tablets in the hands of students.

For now, schools in India will be able to use the Course Manager, a software application that allows teachers to share their knowledge with their class as well as integrate their own documents along with the course curriculum. In India, a majority of international schools that follow the U.S and the U.K curriculum use the iPad as a primarily instrument of teaching.

“The incredible content and tools available for iPad provide teachers with new ways to customise learning unlike ever before,” said Eddy Cue, Apple’s Senior Vice-President of Internet Software and Services, in an e-mailed statement.

“We can’t wait to see how teachers in even more countries will create their new lesson plans with interactive textbooks, apps and rich digital content.”


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