Are we there yet? Yes, the Apple education event is finally here! This is Apple’s first event in 2018, and it’s entirely geared towards education. The event is being held at Chicago’s Lane Tech College Prep School today (March 27). Here’s a rundown of everything we saw at the event.
Apple has been hard at work developing brand-new technology in order to pave its way into classrooms. Google currently has dominance in the education space with its Chromebook, and Apple is looking to change all that with its new lineup of announcements today.
What we saw
We rounded up everything we saw at the Apple education event today in Chicago. In collaboration with Apple, Chicago Public Schools (CPS) are teaching over 370,000 children how to code. Chicago was also the third-largest school district in the United States, according to a census from last year. Clearly, Apple is trying to tap into this massive cornucopia of bright minds.
Apps for education
On stage, the presenters went through multiple apps that were being used for education. These included iMovie, Clips (an iOS app to edit videos), Garage Band, and over 200,000 more apps dedicated towards education.
A cheaper iPad for education
The perfect computer for learning looks nothing like a computer. With the new, most affordable iPad and its support for Apple Pencil, students have more freedom of expression than ever before. https://t.co/KzsRuIHrhy pic.twitter.com/QbCVJxX193
— Apple Education (@AppleEDU) March 27, 2018
In the presentation, a video played describing a brand new iPad that is available today. With the help of Greg Joswiak, Apple’s VP of product marketing, we got a look at what this new iPad will ship with.
The new 9.7-inch iPad will ship to educators for $299 USD and to consumers for $329 USD. The Apple Pencil will cost $99 USD alongside the new iPad, but educators get a $10 discount.
- Apple Pencil support
- The same tilt and pressure sensor as the iPad Pro
- Identical dimensions to the current iPad
- A retina display
- A10 Fusion chips
- LTE variant
- 8MP rear camera
- Touch ID
- HD FaceTime camera
Speaking of the Apple Pencil, we got a glimpse of new versions of apps such as Keynote, Numbers, and Pages, which all support the new tool. These will allow students to showcase their learning with drawings and pictures.
Coming soon, teachers will be able to grade homework submitted through Pages right on the new iPad. They will also be able to create digital books through Pages, and students will be able to collaborate together to create books with pictures, text, and more. Color me impressed!
Apple just released a new ad on YouTube for the iPad 2018. View it here: (better with sound!)
AR apps at the Apple education event
Augmented reality is a huge step in the right direction for Apple if they want to integrate more into the classroom.
We got a look at multiple apps that will support VR and the new iPad. First up, we saw Boulevard AR, an app which lets students showcase art on the walls of their classroom so they can see the drawings of famous artists up close.
Next, we saw an app called Free Rivers from the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), which lets students see various environments on the table. The example the presenters showed how students can build a dam and see how it affects a river.
Finally, we saw Froggipedia, which lets students dissect frogs with their Apple Pencil, right on their desks. Thousands of frogs could be saved per year!
More apps, more storage
Up until now, Apple’s free iCloud storage was limited to 5GB. Now, Apple has increased that to 200GB to accommodate these new features that are built into the new iPad.
Unfortunately, it looks like your school will have to register for Apple School Manager and you need to have a managed Apple ID in order to qualify for the extra storage. We’ll update this article if Apple opens it up to college and university level students.
While multi-user support has been out for a little while on Apple products, we are seeing a revamped Apple School Manager with new features added. This web-based portal allows IT managers at schools to quickly manage student and teacher accounts on Apple devices.
From what we saw today, the new Apple School Manager will feature the ability to make and edit Apple IDs for students in bulk. These new IDs will automatically have the upgraded 200GB storage.
We also saw the new “Shared iPad” feature, which allows teachers to hand out any shared iPad to any student. The iPads will feature a login interface, where students can select their name and login using a 4-digit password. While this feature has been around since iOS 9.3, it’s getting a major design overhaul.
Greg Joswiak also presented a new Logitech “Crayon”, which rings in at $49 USD and is basically a third-party Apple Pencil. He also mentioned a new Logitech case and keyboard that would help with breakages by students that will inevitably happen.
Apple also set AppleCare+ at $69 USD instead of $99 USD for the new iPad.
A new Classroom app on the Mac, Schoolwork coming as well
A revamped Classroom app is also coming to beta stages in June and it should be ready for the start of the new school year.
The app lets teachers control student’s devices remotely, as well as cast their device to an Apple TV and connect with their device. We definitely see an “Applesphere” happening in the classroom.
Another app was featured, named Schoolwork, which allows teachers to create handouts and track student progress easily. The app supports deeplinks, which means teachers can have links in their handouts that point to assignments in other iOS apps. Pretty neat!
Swift Playgrounds and coding in the classroom
Swift Playgrounds is an app that takes students from zero to hero in Swift programming knowledge. Users can take their iOS development to a whole new level by learning about conditionals, bug fixes, and more using Swift.
Learning code is essential to help students thrive in a future driven by technology. We have created a full range of standards-based lessons that get kids thinking, problem solving & creating in #Swift. Checkout all our #EveryoneCanCode teacher resources: https://t.co/gMynsYyHui pic.twitter.com/ZbFk5BXufr
— Apple Education (@AppleEDU) March 27, 2018
The Playgrounds app isn’t just available for students. Anyone can learn Swift with the app. Whether you’re just starting out or already have a good bit of coding knowledge, the app is a fun way to engage yourself with Swift and iOS programming.
What we got from this piece of news: Apple is creating an army of future iOS developers. Smart play Apple, smart play.
New curriculum for Apple Professional Learning
Yet you didn’t expect teachers to just be able to pick up all these new features on the fly did you? It turns out, yes they can!
Apple Professional Learning is a way for educators to learn all about integrating Apple products into their teaching strategies. It features comprehensive tutorials on everything from how to send digital handouts to how to setup an iPad for a student. And with all of the new features announced at the Apple event today, there’s no shortage of new tutorials that have been added to the database.
What we think of the Apple education event
Overall, we think that the Apple education event was a smashing success. Multiple features were aimed at helping educators and IT services at schools around the globe integrate Apple products.
With these new features came new hardware as well, with a more affordable iPad being released that is specifically geared towards providing a cheaper gateway to Apple products among educators.
The most important question still remains though: will all of this new technology released today be able to compete with the already-established integration of Google products in the classroom?
You can watch the Keynote here, which highlights all of the features that Apple announced today.
Image Credits: MacStories