Apple lays out its powerful vision for the classroom of the future

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2018 iPad and Apple Pencil
Apple's new entry-level iPad is just the tip of the educational iceberg.
Photo: Ian Fuchs/Cult of Mac

CHICAGO — Apple’s vision for the future of the classroom is clear: Students armed with iPads and quality apps, and instructors leveraging creative teaching methods. Laying the groundwork for a combination of interactive group projects, immersive audio and video experiences, and some gamification, Apple thinks students will find greater success in schools through the use technology.

With yesterday’s big educational event behind us, we know a lot more about Apple’s vision for the classroom of the future.

Everything Apple revealed at its ‘field trip’ event

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“Education then, beyond all others devices of human origin, is the great equalizer of the conditions of men.” - Horace Mann
Apple is making education a bigger focus.
Photo: Ian Fuchs/Cult of Mac

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:

ClassKit could plant Apple in more classrooms

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The Apple Classroom app could get a whole lot better.
Apple's Classroom app could get a whole lot better.
Image: Apple

During Apple’s big education event tomorrow, we undoubtedly will hear Cupertino’s grand plan for reshaping the classroom. Just as Apple predicted that the future of television is apps, what if the future of classrooms and textbooks is also apps?

It’s time to consider what Apple’s rumored new ClassKit framework will mean for students and teachers — and what role a new, cheaper iPad could play in education.

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.

How The iPad Is Transforming The Classroom [Back To School]

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The iPad is engaging students and transforming the K-12 education experience.
The iPad is engaging students and transforming the K-12 education experience.

During its education event in January, Apple unveiled its plans to revolutionize the K-12 classroom with the iPad, electronic textbooks, a revamped version of iTunes U that supports content for K-12 schools as well as higher education, and tools for educators to create their own digital content using iBooks Author and iTunes U.

In the intervening months, schools and districts around the country have made significant investments in iPads, including the San Diego Unified School District, which invested $15 million in 26,000 iPads for its students. Those sales created a record quarter for Apple in the K-12 education market.

With the back to school season upon us, it’s clear that the massive iPad deployments will give Apple the opportunity to disrupt the classroom in the ways it has whole industries and, in many ways, that’s a good thing.

Apple Reminds Teachers And IT Pros About Free Web iPad-In-Education Webcast Series

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Apple is offering free webcasts on using iPads, iBooks Author, and iTunes in education
Apple is offering free webcasts on using iPads, iBooks Author, and iTunes in education

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.

How To Handle Content Filtering For iPads In The Classroom (And At Home)

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Mass iPad deployments in schools bring new challenges when it comes to filtering laws and regulations
Mass iPad deployments in schools bring new challenges when it comes to filtering laws and regulations.

Technology in the education sector, particularly for K-12 schools, often poses unique challenges not seen in business or enterprise organizations. The iPad is a great example. As we noted yesterday, BYOD is generally not a good idea for school environments. That means effective iPad deployments are typically managed by schools and education IT staff.

There are plenty of stories out there about schools moving forward with one-to-one iPad deployments (we’ve run two this week – one about the massive iPad investment by San Diego’s school district and one on East Alton’s decision to lease iPads instead of buying them). One-to-one initiatives, in which each student gets his or her own device for use in class and at home, are generally considered a much more effective and ideal model than when students sharing devices during to school hours.

One-to-one programs, which were first established for laptops, can be challenging because such programs need to take into consideration that the iPads will be used at home. One area where this creates problems for schools is the need to comply with filtering regulations.

The More Tech-Savvy The Principal, The More iPads In The Classroom

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iPad use in schools more likely when administrators like and use mobile tech
iPad use in schools more likely when administrators like and use mobile tech

With its e-textbook initiative, iTunes U, and a range of educational resources, Apple is pitching the iPad as critical element in 21st century schools. Many schools have already begun iPad tests or full-scale deployments. In other schools, however, there’s still a fight over where and how the iPad and other technologies fit into the classroom. A battle erupted between teachers and lawmakers in Idaho earlier this year over new technology requirements in the state’s schools.

So what makes some schools embrace iPads and other new technologies while others resist them? It turns out that the answer may lie in the personal technology preferences of school and district administrators.

Smartphone Gamers Prefer To Flirt With Random People Than Play Against Their Friends

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Why do you play games on your mobile phone?
Why do you play games on your mobile phone?

Titles like Angry Birds, Tiny Wings, and Jetpack Joyride have proven that popular smartphone games are big business for developers. But why are we so addicted to gaming on our mobile devices? Well, according to a new survey from MocoSpace, a third of us do it just to kill time and cure boredom, while 10% of us do it to meet new people.