Education tech provider announces major Google upgrade

Education tech provider announces major Google upgrade

A leader in education sector technology, BenQ has announced a major upgrade to its latest series of interactive whiteboards.

Its next generation of interactive displays – the BenQ Board Pro RP04 and the BenQ Board Master RM04 – now offer the full suite of Google apps and services as a native feature. The company has been among the first to secure an EDLA license, which allows it to offer full support for Google Mobile Services (GMS).

With this update, teachers will now have easy access to all GMS services including Google Play Store, Classroom, YouTube, Docs, and other apps. Martin Moelle, Managing Director at BenQ Australia says this is going to make teachers’ lives a lot easier, as Google hadn’t previously allowed any brands to put GMS functionality into their products natively – but with this upgrade, they’ll have the full suite of products at their fingertips from the get-go.

“There are parts of our personal and work lives where Google is just omnipresent,” Moelle comments.

“If you do a search, you’re Googling it. If you watch a video online there’s a high chance you’re going to use YouTube, and if you save documents, you’ll probably use Google Drive. Google products are everywhere, and teachers want and need access to that straight away. This update provides exactly that.”

What is Google EDLA?

While most of us know how to access Google apps from our phones and laptops, accessing them on interactive flat panels has been more complex until now.

At the end of 2022, Google introduced its Enterprise Devices Licensing Agreement (EDLA) – a new program designed to help technology vendors offer devices with Google Mobile Services built in. Under the new EDLA, devices such as smart boards are eligible for GMS certification, which allows them to offer Google products as easily as a phone or laptop.

“The changes in Google’s policy through the licensing agreement allows brands like BenQ to provide that out of the box,” Moelle says.

“That means that when you turn on your interactive display, you can have the Google search bar or the YouTube icon there ready to go. Everything is now seamless and very fast.”

For teachers, there are a lot of advantages to having an interactive display with GMS built in. One of Google’s most popular products is Google for Education – used extensively in New Zealand, and by a significant number of teachers in Australia. Prior to EDLA, technology vendors had to quote add-on products to give teachers access to Google for Education, but this is no longer the case.

The license also allows for much better device security, as the Google Play Protect service only hosts apps which have been vetted for suspicious behaviour. It prevents you from downloading potentially harmful apps, and even scans and removes previously installed apps that may compromise your security.

New features for a new generation

BenQ’s new generation of displays doesn’t just incorporate Google services – it also boasts a series of new features which aim to make learning more accessible to students.

Its displays offer text-to-speech capabilities for visually impaired students, and its multilingual translation features allow students to understand lesson materials in their native language.

Its security features have also been upgraded with Device Management Solution (DMS) software. This allows IT departments to control all their BenQ boards remotely and perform regular updates, monitor device analytics and configure power settings.

Finally, all BenQ boards are equipped with ClassroomCare® - a series of health-focused features which aim to create a physically healthy learning environment. The Pro and Master Series are both the first large format displays to be equipped with Eyesafe® Certified 2.0 screens, which help protect eyes from high-energy blue light. The Pro Series also features air quality sensors to monitor CO² levels amongst other important parameters, as well as both series featuring certified antimicrobial screens to reduce the risk of germ transmission.

To learn more about BenQ’s latest suite of Google EDLA-Certified Interactive Displays  and how they can benefit your classroom, click here.