Apple pushes U.S. government to teach kids how to code

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Apple CEO Tim Cook.
Tim Cook added his name to this important petition.
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

With its recent purchase of educational startup LearnSprout and its “Hour of Code” programming classes at Apple Stores, Apple has demonstrated that it’s pretty darn serious about education.

Proving this once again, CEO Tim Cook this week put his name to a petition asking the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives to provide $250 million in federal funding to school districts so as to allow every K-12 student in the United States to learn how to code.

Apple’s Classroom app for iPad lands on App Store

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iOS 9.3 embraces education.
iOS 9.3 embraces education.
Photo: Apple

Apple is putting more tools in the hands of educators today with the official launch of the new Classroom app for iPad that promises to opens up new, more engaging ways of teaching and learning on the iPad.

The new app is part of the new iOS 9.3 education features Apple has added that allow teachers to manage student devices, share work and assignments, as well as track students’ progress to help them stay on track.

Everything new (and exciting!) coming in iOS 9.3

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ios-9-3-banner
This is a bigger update than anyone anticipated.
Photo: Apple

Apple released the developer beta for iOS 9.3 today. To the surprise of many, it actually includes quite a few brand new and useful features whether you’re in the classroom or trying to sleep — or both. There are so many new features that we can actually dedicate an entire post to explaining all of them. So here we are doing exactly that.

Note that since today marks iOS 9.3’s release only for developers, it might be a while before the rest of us see the final version show up in the Settings app. But without further ado, here is everything you can look forward to in iOS 9.3.

L.A. schools to receive $6.4 million from botched iPad deal

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Apple's still leading, but the market for tablets is declining. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac
Hopefully this disastrous chapter is over for all involved.
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

The long-running disaster that was the Los Angeles Unified School District scheme to provide iPads to every student, teacher and campus administrator is apparently over — with Apple among the companies agreeing to pay out a $6.4 million settlement.

The tentative payout is hopefully the last phase in an aborted $1.3-billion plan for the second-largest district in the U.S. to get its hands on new iPads and Pearson educational software.

App Camp for Girls raises $100K with two days left

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Making tech careers for girls attainable.
Making tech careers for girls attainable.
Photo: App Camp for Girls

Head to any technology conference and you’ll wonder where all the women are. We live in an age where women are routinely underrepresented at best, harassed and threatened at worst.

Technology classes in schools are just as bad, with less opportunity for girls to explore potential careers in high-tech fields.

To combat this, a group of women in Portland started App Camp for Girls in 2013, and they’ve now expanded to camps in Seattle and Vancouver.

“Apps are rapidly becoming an important part the world’s economy and culture,” writes the team on their website. “If women are left on the sidelines of this phenomenon, everyone suffers.”

They’ve also just raised their goal of $100,000 with two days left in their IndieGoGo campaign.