Apple is ready to make a major push into the education market. During its keynote in Chicago this morning, the company revealed how it plans to make students and teachers fall in love with Apple.
Armed with a bevy of new apps, APIs and other software tools, Tim Cook and company revealed Apple’s cheapest iPad ever. Apple pitched it specifically at students, though we suspect it will prove pretty popular with normal Apple fans, too.
Check out all the new stuff Apple unveiled today:
9.7-inch iPad with Apple Pencil support
Apple’s 9.7-inch iPad was upgraded with Apple Pencil support today. It also comes with a cheaper price tag for some: It costs $299 for schools buying in bulk or $309 if you qualify for special education pricing. Everyone else still must pay $329 for the cheapest iPad, but there’s a lot to love about it.
The new model packs a speedy A10 Fusion processor to go with its 2048-by-1536-resolution display. It includes an 8-megapixel camera on the back, Touch ID, GPS, compass and gyroscope. Apple promises up to 10 hours of battery life. That should be enough for continuous use throughout the school day.
Cheaper Apple Pencil alternative
Apple gave a little bit of stage time to Logitech’s Crayon. It’s a cheaper alternative to the Apple Pencil — and built specifically for schools (at least at first).
The sturdy, $49 Logitech stylus is aimed squarely at the educational market. However, budget-conscious adults will no doubt crave one, too. The Crayon debuted alongside a beefy Logitech iPad case and keyboard combo called the Rugged Combo 2, which will retail for $99. The new products will “be available for purchase to schools and school districts in the U.S. beginning this summer” directly from Apple, Logitech said in a press release.
Free iCloud storage upgrade
If you’re not a student and you had a 5GB iCloud account, it’s not being upgraded to 200GB for free! The upgrade announced today only applies to students. (Hopefully, Apple will make 200GB the new standard for everyone soon.)
iWork gets some love
Smart Annotations are coming to Apple’s iWork suite of iOS apps later this year. The upcoming versions of Pages, Numbers and Keynote will let iPad owners draw directly on reports with its Smart Annotations feature. It’s a great update for students and regular users alike.
Classroom for Mac
The Mac didn’t get much love at all during Apple’s keynote today other than a short mention that Classroom is coming to the Mac this summer. In the iOS version, the teaching assistant app helps teachers guide students through a lesson, see their progress, and keep them on track.
The all-new Schoolwork app
Teachers and students are getting some much-needed help from Apple in the form of the new Schoolwork app. It’s basically a command center for education.
Schoolwork can assign specific activities within an app, and students will be taken there automatically. The app can also check students’ progress, making it easy to see if they have done their work and helping teachers tailor classes to the needs of individuals.
Teachers can use Schoolwork to give handouts, assignments and apps to their students. They can also used the app to send class reminders about field trips or group work updates.
ClassKit API framework
To make it easier for developers to create apps that play well with Schoolwork, Apple created a new API called ClassKit. It does most of the heavy lifting of integrating with Schoolwork’s best features so developers can concentrate on making the best apps.
AR apps with Swift Playgrounds
Teaching kids to be great Swift coders is high up on Apple’s list of priorities. Augmented reality is one of Apple’s other big priorities, so it’s merging the two with some new lessons in Swift Playgrounds that teach kids how to build AR apps.
Watch Apple’s education event
If you want to see all the onstage magic yourself, you can now stream the entire Apple event. Here’s how to do it.
Note: This post was originally published at 10:22 a.m. on March 27. It has been updated with additional information.