Google Play for Education has just launched in the UK, and despite the huge range of Android tablets available on the market only a few are currently supported for use in schools.

In fact, just two tablets — one of which Google no longer directly sells — are available to schools through Google Play for Education. They are the Nexus 7 — both the 2012 and 2o13 models — and the Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 Education.

I’ve spoken to Google and they assure me that this range will broaden in the near future, but at the moment only a limited number of tablets are supported. 3G/LTE devices are not supported at this time.

Some Google Play features are also only available on certain versions of Android. You can use the chart below to see if which features apply to which tablet model.

Tablet Android Version Supported features
Single student device setup Shared device setup Using tablets for assessment
Nexus 7 5.0.2 X X X
Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 Education 4.4.2 X

It’s also worth noting Google’s tablet end of life information before buying new hardware. After these dates Google does not guarantee further Google Play for Education support.

Product End of Life date
Nexus 7 (2012) July 2015
Nexus 7 (2013) July 2016
HP Slate 8 Pro (US) April 2016
Samsung Galaxy Tab4 Education April 2017
ASUS Transformer Pad (US) May 2017
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About Author

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Karl is an award winning Director of IT for the Royal Grammar School Guildford, based near London, England. He has been working in education for more than ten years and founded ClassThink in 2013 to share technology best practice with other schools. In 2014 he won the NAACE Impact Award for support services in schools, and writes edtech articles for Education Executive Magazine.

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