Bloomberg BusinessWeek reports that Google, already active in the education sector, is talking to software developers about building apps for digital learning.

Google, the world’s largest search engine, seeks to lure more educational developers and is stepping up efforts to generate revenue from the project, company executives say.

Software sales for U.S. schools and colleges this year should surpass the 2009 total of $4.6 billion, according to Parthenon Group LLC. That could provide a new growth stream for Google, which gets most of its sales from search advertising. The company works with schools, providing free word processing, e-mail and spreadsheet programs to students and teachers. Now it wants to help outside developers sell applications to educators.

“If we can provide access to education apps to our 10 million users in thousands of schools, then that would be a win all around,” said Obadiah Greenberg, Google’s business development manager for education

Elsewhere, 148Apps.biz charts the development of, and news related to, apps in the iTunes store and reports that the number of iTunes store apps categorized as “Educational” is 26,155 or 7.98% of all apps in the store.  The “Educational” category trails only “Books, “Games” and “Entertainment” in numbers.

Add to this mix, Joel Klein heading off for work each day at News Corp.  He recently told told Yoav Gonen of the NY Post,

“I’m going to design strategies for using technology to support teachers and to support student learning,” he said. “I really am so excited about what I want to do here and how we’re going to do it [and] I think people are going to be surprised.”
This is not news to edReformer readers, but it is worth noting as Governors and legislatures across the country convene to grapple with budget chasms, and are looking for new ways to provide high quality instruction to students without new revenue to do it.  Smart lawmakers will turn to digital learning and ask, “What can schools do online that will boost quality, support teachers, and stave off cutting services to students?”  Not waiting for the answer, lots of smart administrators and teachers are already using digital content and online tools to connect with students.  Edmodo, a secure social networking service for teachers and students, recently started meetups for teachers and administrators.  The edmodo service has virally grown to over a million users in only its second year.
2011 already looks to be the year of digital learning.

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