Android EDLA-certified devices – you may have heard the term in conversation with colleagues or while browsing through forums. However, if you’re not closely tracking EdTech trends, you might be uncertain about what it means. Essentially, it lets you enjoy an upgraded Android experience on interactive whiteboards. But how does it work and what does this mean for classrooms?
Read on to learn all about Android EDLA-certified devices and their impact on classrooms. Or, explore ViewSonic’s Android EDLA-certified solutions here.
So, what is EDLA? In short, the Enterprise Device Licensing Agreement (EDLA) is a certification program for Android devices launched at the end of 2022. Its mission is to ensure the seamless compatibility of Android devices with Google services and applications. When a device is Android EDLA-certified, it essentially becomes your gateway to effortless integration with the Google ecosystem of mobile services and apps. This integration empowers educators with expanded teaching resources to enhance learning experiences.
The Android EDLA certification typically applies to devices larger than 18” in screen size, like Interactive whiteboards and slot-in PCs. EDLA-certified interactive whiteboards can enhance traditional classrooms with improved access to Google services and applications, while EDLA-certified slot-in PCs upgrade the Android capabilities of their current interactive whiteboards. Thereby helping schools make the most of existing technology to reduce electrical waste. By providing teachers and students with an intuitive, tablet-like interface and a customizable Android launcher, EDLA-certified devices offer a more tailored educational experience with expanded learning possibilities.
For those interested in how the EDLA certification fits into the Android ecosystem, continue reading. Or, if you want to explore the benefits of Android EDLA, then click here.
Background on Android
To really understand the advantages of Android EDLA-certified classroom solutions, we need to first delve into the nitty-gritty of the Android ecosystem. Android is an open-source operating system driven by the Android Open-Source Project (AOSP) and overseen by Google. The open-source approach encourages device manufacturers to adapt and customize the Android OS for an array of mobile devices and accessories. This helps promote innovation and diversity within the Android ecosystem so that it can evolve organically without a single industry player taking too much control.
There are two key layers of the Android ecosystem: AOSP and Google Mobile Services (GMS). AOSP, the bedrock of Android, provides essential device functions and an adaptable source code for customization, allowing manufacturers to create unique user interfaces for their Android devices, like Samsung’s One UI or Google’s Pixel UI. GMS builds on this bedrock, serving as an advanced layer with essential Google apps like Google Chrome, YouTube, Gmail, Google Maps, and the indispensable Google Play Store. However, to ensure a consistent and high-quality Android experience across devices, manufacturers must meet strict standards set by Google to access GMS.
EDLA and GMS: What’s the Difference?
Now, let’s connect the dots between EDLA and GMS. Imagine GMS as the VIP section of Android services, and to gain access, you need to be on the guest list – essentially a license agreement with Google. Now, there are two main types of license agreements manufacturers can use to preinstall GMS on their devices: for large interactive displays, and for smaller devices like Android smartphones and tablets, the license is called MADA (Mobile Application Distribution Agreement).
Getting one of these licenses isn’t a walk in the park, as device manufacturers must meet Google’s strict requirements. For instance, they have to commit to providing security updates for at least the first 2 years of the device’s lifecycle. They must also place the Play Store on the device’s default home screen and organize the remaining GMS suite of apps in a ‘Google’ folder. Plus, Google recently raised the bar for devices to bundle GMS on Android 13 and beyond, now requiring a minimum of 2GB of RAM and 16GB of storage to set a baseline user experience, with manufacturers often surpassing these requirements. Additionally, devices must adhere to Google’s security and privacy policies and guidelines, as well as fully support Google’s features and services.
Now, you might be wondering why these licenses are so important. Well, without them, you cannot access the Google Play Store, which is a must-have for most Android devices. What’s more, many of your favorite Android apps depend on GMS features, like push notifications, screen casting, and security features. So, some apps won’t work their magic without GMS access. Without an EDLA or MADA-licensed device, users would need to sideload third-party Android apps, which means installing them from outside of the Google Play Store. This involves a complicated process that may result in apps with missing features or, even worse, malware infections.
How EDLA Benefits Classrooms
Picture yourself as a teacher, standing in front of an interactive display in your classroom, eager to seamlessly access your Google accounts, files, and collaborative tools. EDLA certification makes this picture a reality so that you can enjoy a smoother and more efficient teaching experience. As the key that unlocks Google Workspace (formerly G Suite) apps and Google Play Store access on your interactive display, EDLA introduces a range of benefits that transform your classroom dynamics.
Expanded Learning Possibilities
EDLA creates a digital classroom where educators can explore endless opportunities for innovative teaching methods, enhancing their ability to inspire and educate. By seamlessly integrating with a diverse range of Google Play Store apps, Android EDLA-certified devices ensure a smooth and dependable user experience. The Google Play Store provides a treasure trove of educational apps, including popular ones like Google Classroom, Kahoot, and ClassDojo, offering educators expanded horizons for innovative teaching methods and content creation.
Game-based learning platforms, such as Kahoot and Mentimeter, transform education into an interactive and gamified adventure, offering engaging quizzes and real-time feedback that cater to diverse learning styles. Simultaneously, classroom management platforms like Google Classroom and ClassDojo simplify administration with attendance and behavior tracking, incorporate a reward system, and facilitate seamless parent-teacher communication. Accessible through Android EDLA-certified devices, these apps enhance student participation and motivation. Furthermore, with over 3 billion active Android devices globally, educators gain peace of mind in knowing that emerging interactive learning platforms are likely to support the Android ecosystem.
Simplified Teaching Workflow
To enhance teaching efficiency, Android EDLA-certified devices are thoughtfully designed for accessibility, adaptability, and long-term use. For schools using Chromebooks and other Android devices, adopting an Android EDLA-certified device will feel like a natural extension – one that seamlessly integrates into educators’ current workflows and apps. Even for schools using Windows or Mac operating systems, teachers can enjoy a streamlined workflow by installing productivity suites from the Play Store onto their Android EDLA-certified devices. The cross-device compatibility of these suites helps to ensure an effortless learning curve in adopting an Android EDLA-certified device.
These productivity suites, such as Google Workspace and Microsoft 365, feature essential tools that are cross-device compatible, including Gmail, Google Drive, Google Docs, Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, and Excel. This cross-device capability lets teachers effortlessly add multimedia content to their lesson plans. For instance, a teacher can scan a textbook page with their phone, annotate it on the Android EDLA-certified interactive whiteboard, and share it with students using Gmail. Moreover, the collaboration tools within these apps foster the joint creation of educational resources and seamless resource sharing within schools. This efficiency reduces setup time so that teachers can concentrate on how to best educate and inspire students.
Enhanced Device Security
The security of student and faculty data is non-negotiable. Thankfully, Android EDLA-certified devices stand as a reliable shield with their robust security measures. They receive automatic security updates for both the system and applications through regular firmware updates, ensuring a continually protected environment where educators and students can safely engage with technology.
On top of the standard Android updates, Android EDLA-certified devices enjoy an additional layer of defense courtesy of Google. Meticulously scanning apps and devices for potential vulnerabilities, the Google Play Protect antivirus service safeguards your devices. Moreover, the Google Play Store saves time and minimizes lesson disruptions by offering automatic app updates. Additionally, Google has taken charge of pushing security patches for the latest Android versions—a process that was slower in the past, as manufacturers had to individually address vulnerabilities. These security features come together to empower educators to concentrate on educating and inspiring students with peace of mind regarding the safety of their data.
In conclusion, the integration of Google and Android through EDLA certification offers an opportunity for educators to transform their classrooms with expanded learning possibilities. With the seamless compatibility and enhanced functionality of these devices, teachers can streamline their workflow, ensure stability, and bolster security in their educational endeavors. The benefits of this integration extend beyond convenience; they empower educators to create engaging, innovative learning experiences for their students while simplifying the management of files and resources.
Considering an EDLA solution for your classroom? ViewSonic’s Android EDLA-certified solutions feature myViewBoard software that empowers teachers and enriches lessons with multimedia content. The ViewBoard IFP52-2F Series delivers a comprehensive Android experience with excellent hardware, while the VPC-A31-O1 EDLA-certified slot-in PC provides a sustainable classroom solution by expanding Android functionalities on your existing interactive displays.
Explore ViewSonic’s Android EDLA-certified solutions here. Alternatively, learn how to jumpstart student engagement in your classroom by making the most of interactive whiteboards with our guide.