One of the ways that working in education is different from almost any other industries is the annual summer break. The summer break let’s schools and districts tackle large projects in ways that simply aren’t possible in other fields. Deploying a brand-new network, building an expansion, and taking part in professional development programs are just a few examples.
With the end of the school year, Apple is taking the opportunity to remind schools and educators about a free professional development program that it’s offering. Called the Tune In Series, the program is a series of webcast events covering the iPad and many of the technologies that Apple introduced during its education event in January. The series is running every week through the end of August.
The free program, aimed teachers and IT leaders, covers a range of Apple technologies and their potential impact in the classroom. Each day of the week, Apple will tackle a different technology and will invite questions from the audience.
The five topics that will be covered each week include the iPad in education (Monday), content creation (Tuesday), iTunes U (Wednesday), iOS device licensing and deployment (Thursday), and Apple Configurator (Friday).
Some of the webcasts are clearly geared more towards teachers like those covering content creation and iTunes U. Others, most notably the sessions on licensing and Apple Configurator, seem more designed more for IT professionals.
The content creation webcasts looks particularly intriguing as it will cover iLife and iWork (for Mac and iOS) as well as iBooks Author. Similarly the iTunes U webcasts will focus not just on iTunes U as a resource for the classroom, but also on how teachers to produce and distribute their own classes.
The daily sessions, which start noon Eastern time (9:00 a.m. Pacific), have actually been running since the end of April, though Apple appears to be making an effort to remind educators of them now that school is out for the summer. Although focused on educators, the free sessions are open to anyone. Advanced registration is required.
The series is just one of many education webcasts that Apple has offered. Recordings of several previous webcasts are available for free (registration required) on Apple’s education site..