Google to deploy free learning tools for schools across Maharashtra

Hemani Seth Mumbai | Updated on August 06, 2020

It would roll out G Suite for Education and Google Classroom technology equipping over 2.3 crore teachers and students.

Maharashtra will be the first Indian state to collaborate with Google India in the state-wide deployment of its Google for Education technology, the company announced today.

“To make education accessible to all with online learning, we’re partnering with Maharashtra State Education Department and equipping over 2.3 crore teachers and students across the state with free digital tools, through G Suite for Education,” announced Google.

The tech giant will deploy its G Suite for Education and Google Classroom technology to schools across Maharashtra for free in partnership with the Maharashtra State Education Department.

“G Suite for Education and Google Classroom will make remote learning easier will allow teachers to teach lessons in synchronous and asynchronous mode and stay connected with their students,” said Bani Paintal Dhawan, Head of Education, India and South Asia, Google India.

The platform will also offer teacher training and free resources around distance learning contracts for educators.

“We will also help teachers and parents who are brand new to technology by making it easier for them to understand and adapt to these changes on their mobiles, tablets or laptops. Teach from Home, an information hub launched by Google is also available in Marathi, which will help educators find the most updated and relevant information on technology to use to enable learning,” Dhawan added.

School Education Minister Varsha Gaikwad said that the partnership would help the education department to adopt the technology in over 1.9 lakh schools for 22.3 million students. They can deliver specific content n Marathi developed by NCERT Maharashtra.

She added that the education department had received a positive response from educators across the state.

“When we floated and invitation link for Google classroom training, we have almost received 1.34 lakhs feature applications within 48 hours,” she said.

Blended learning

The Covid-19 pandemic has majorly disrupted education in India and abroad. However, it has also brought in new opportunities to rethink the future of education according to Uddhav Thackeray, Hon’ble Chief Minister of Maharashtra. However, according to Ajit Pawar, Deputy Chief Minister of Maharashtra, technology cannot replace real classrooms.

“It has led us from the present to the future. All of us had questions regarding the future of education. We have come to a step closer to answering these questions due to the pandemic,” said Thackeray.

“I also believe once the pandemic passes, schools will function like it used to, students and teachers will be back in classrooms, the process of teaching and learning will back to its place,” said Pawar.

The sentiments were echoed by Google executives, who said that this step could provide an initial solution to the disruption caused by the pandemic. Technology is likely to accelerate a blended learning method across schools in India.

“We know that technology alone won't fix or improve education in our country. But we are optimistic that it can be a significant part of the solution,” Sanjay Gupta, Country Manager and Vice President, Sales and Operations, Google India said.

“I foresee a blended learning environment in which students mix face to face learning with an online learning environment that provides content in both synchronous and asynchronous mode across their mobiles, tablets and laptops,” said Gaikwad.

Published on August 06, 2020

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