What to expect from Apple’s big ‘field trip’ event

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What to expect from Apple education event 2018.
Apple took us to schoo
Image: Apple

Apple will take a field trip out of Silicon Valley to host its first major event of 2018 tomorrow. Instead of focusing on iPhones and Apple Watches, this Apple keynote will be all about education and creativity.

Rumors have been swirling for months that new MacBook Airs and an updated, inexpensive iPad could arrive this spring. We might see those, but Apple probably has a couple other surprises in store that you haven’t heard of.

Apple will not provide a livestream of the event, but Cult of Mac will be in attendance. Joins us Tuesday morning for our liveblog of everything that’s going down at the event. In the meantime, here’s our handy guide to what to expect.

In A Crisis, Do Kids Need More Macs?

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A  program providing MacBooks for students in Maine plans to increase its scope by leasing 100,000 computers from Apple at a cost of about $25 million per year.

Maine started its first-in-the-nation program by distributing more than 30,000 computers to each seventh- and eighth-grader in all of the state’s state public schools in 2002 and 2003.

Now, all 120 of Maine’s high schools, along with 241 middle schools, will have new laptops under the same program. The cost runs about $242 per computer per year.

Maine governor John Baldacci believes the laptop computer program can go beyond the classroom,  becoming ” a powerful tool for the entire family.”

“Every night when students in seventh through 12th grade bring those computers home, they’ll connect the whole family to new opportunities and new resources,” Baldacci said. The computers would come with software to connect to the state’s CareerCenters, he added.

In 2007,  a study released by the Maine Education Policy Research Institute (.pdf)  indicated that student writing scores improved after laptops were introduced.

Image used with a CC license, thanks to torres21.
The AP via Bangor Daily News

Student iPod Touch Pilot Program: More Homework Done, Some Fumbling

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An Australian pilot program using the iPod touch as a classroom tool has some high school students doing more homework, others puzzling over the device.

Though the small program — eight 14-year-olds — using iPod touches is far from giving a scientific answer of how they might change learning, a few interesting things have cropped up.

One: Louise Duncan, the teacher who started the program at Shepparton High in Victoria, found that some of the kids had trouble using them.

“We assume that 14-year-olds are really technologically savvy, but they’re often not,” she told Perth newspaper Western Australia Today.

Students use the hand-held media players to search the internet, download music, do quizzes, research and submit assignments and work with students in Singapore.

Duncan found that students in the test program were more willing to come to school, did more homework and used their iPods more than laptops or desktop computers.

The iPods are on loan from Apple and run on the Study Wiz platform; the test is part of a global mobile learning project.

Via WA today