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Platform Wars

How Apple, Google, And Microsoft Are Taking On Classrooms

Education’s top three technology players now offer software suites designed for education. How do they compare?

How Apple, Google, And Microsoft Are Taking On Classrooms

[Illustrations: Matt Rota]

Apple

Apple’s App Store boasts more than 170,000 education apps and offers its own iBooks Author and iMovie tools to students. The new Apple Classroom app gives teachers the power to control what students see and do on their iPads. Plus, teachers can launch apps, observe progress, and reset passwords.

Google

The search giant is strongest when it comes to classroom management, allowing teachers to create digital home pages for their classes and use them to make announcements, post assignments, and moderate discussions. But with more than 200 VR field trips now available through its Expeditions tool, Google is building a distinctive library of educational content as well.

Microsoft

Microsoft’s Classroom is similar to Google’s, including the ability to integrate with any online grade book. And like Apple, Microsoft gives teachers the means to control students’ devices. Its Take a Test app lets them block functions like copy and paste when students are taking an online exam.

A version of this article appeared in the October 2016 issue of Fast Company magazine.

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