Harvard and MIT teamed up for this open-source online education platform

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Education is easy with EDX's learning platform.
Education is easy with EDX's learning platform.
Photo: EDX

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

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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.

Kids in one New York school spend 75% of the day on iPads

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iPads have taken over this New York school.
iPads have taken over this New York school.
Photo: Gail Robinson

A New York elementary school has taken the bold move of upgrading 75 percent of its third and fourth curriculum to iPad, meaning that students spend three-quarters of each day using their Apple tablets.

Jackson Avenue School is currently in its fifth year of a district initiative providing all students in grades 3-9 with iPads for digital learning.

How real historical intrigue inspires Game of Thrones

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The Lancasters always pay their debts. In blood.
The Lancasters always pay their debts. In blood.
Photo: TED-Ed

You know nothin’, Jon Snow. Especially how much more full of shifting alliances and intrigue The Wars of the Roses was than your epic television series is able to show. Game of Thrones superfans may already know that 15th-century England inspired much of the structure of George R. R. Martin’s overarching book series, but having it all laid out — lovely animations and visuals to support the historical information — is our first exposure to that fact.

The short animated video, written by Alex Gendler and animated by Brett Underhill, even illustrates how Game of Thrones matches directly to historical facts with some fun Pop-Up Video-style flourishes. You’ll love it.

Kids’ coding academies aim to bridge ‘skills gap’

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The Flatiron School in New York is expanding its kids coding academies to six U.S. cities this summer. Photo: Flatiron School
The Flatiron School in New York is expanding its coding academies for high school student sto six U.S. cities this summer. Photo: Flatiron School

There are plenty of schools with computers. But find a teacher with tech industry experience and you’ve found a “unicorn,” says a school director who wants to introduce kids to the language of coding.

Lyel Resner, director of K-12 curriculum at New York’s Flatiron School, is promoting a series of summer workshops across six U.S. cities to teach high school students programming fundamentals, app development, front-end web design and how to get a startup off the ground.

Cheap Chromebooks teach Apple a lesson: Price matters

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Apple and Google are very interested in taking over the U.S. education market from Microsoft, but when it comes to capturing marketshare, the Chromebook is teaching Apple an important lesson: Price matters.

For the first time ever, Google has passed Apple in the U.S. education market, according to IDC data obtained by The Financial Times, which shows Google’s Chromebook laptops are more popular now in the K-12 classrooms than the iPad.