The Google Play Store has many merits, but it's also rife with stranger danger. Which is what makes the new Google Play for Education so valuable; it's a kid- and teacher-friendly app store that keeps out the ick.
Google Play for Education, announced today at Google I/O, sorts apps by grade level and subject matter, making it easy for teachers to find exactly what they want to deploy. It can also push content to any associated tablets—think books, lessons, and relevant YouTube videos—all at once, through the same mechanism.
Maybe most crucially for Google, though, it also requires every student to have a Google Account, which means they're more likely to use Google's other services and become entwined in Google's ecosystem. That's not a bad thing; it would be impractical to run Play for Education without student accounts, and there's nothing wrong with wanting people to use your products. But it's worth noting that the sooner you start leaning on Google for your apps and content, the harder it is to switch down the line if you're so inclined.
Google Play for Education launches this fall (presumably in time for the new school year), while app submissions will be accepted as soon as this summer.