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Google Apps spur rise of new ed-tech market segment

Google Apps spur rise of new ed-tech market segment

Many companies now sell products aimed at making Google Apps even more useful for schools

Google

Some of these companies were on hand at CUE’s annual conference to demonstrate their products.

Student use of Google Apps is on the rise, and Google Chromebooks have exploded in popularity within K-12 education. In response to these trends, a new niche market has emerged in ed tech, as many companies now sell products aimed at making these tools even more useful for schools.

Some of these companies were on hand at CUE’s annual conference in Palm Springs, Calif., last week to demonstrate their products.

The Toronto-based company Synergyse offers what it calls an “interactive training system” for Google Apps. The product gives schools an easy way to improve the productivity of staff and students by delivering user-friendly, guided instruction in how to use these tools, said Synergyse founder and CEO Varun Malhotra.

The training is accessible directly within Google Apps, so users don’t have to leave an application to learn how to use it. Synergyse is an extension for the Google Chrome operating system that integrates audio, text, and video guides into the Google Apps interfaces.

As of press time, Synergyse provided training for Google Gmail, Calendar, Drive, Sites, Docs, Sheets, and Slides. The product—which includes training in English, French, and Spanish—is hosted on the Google Cloud platform, and school leaders can generate reports on usage within their schools.

Synergyse costs $10 per full-time employee, per year, and if a school or district buys licenses for all of its employees, then student use of the product is free.

(Next page: A teacher dashboard that overlays Google Apps; a cloud-based web filter that integrates with Google Apps; and more)

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