Today’s Apple event was all about education, but several of the announcements had exciting consumer-facing benefits too. Among those was the introduction of an updated iWork suite, complete with Apple Pencil support. Pages also gained the addition of digital book creation tools, and several other goodies.
Posts tagged with "education"
At their education event held in Chicago earlier today, Apple announced an update for the 9.7” iPad model that, while not adopting all the features from the more powerful iPad Pro line, brings support for the Apple Pencil and includes the A10 Fusion chip.
“iPad is our vision for the future of computing and hundreds of millions of people around the world use it every day at work, in school and for play. This new 9.7-inch iPad takes everything people love about our most popular iPad and makes it even better for inspiring creativity and learning,” said Greg Joswiak, Apple’s vice president of Product Marketing. “Our most popular and affordable iPad now includes support for Apple Pencil, bringing the advanced capabilities of one of our most creative tools to even more users. This iPad also has the power of the A10 Fusion chip, combined with the big, beautiful Retina display, advanced cameras and sensors that enable incredible AR experiences simply not possible on other devices.”
Apple has posted the video of its education event keynote held earlier today at Lane Tech College Prep High School in Chicago. The video can be streamed here, as discovered by Guilherme Rambo, and a higher quality version should be made available soon through iTunes (on the Apple Keynotes podcast).
Education was the sole focus of today’s Apple event in Chicago, and a big part of that story was software: Apple introduced a brand new iPad app for teachers and students called Schoolwork, an upcoming Mac version of its existing iPad Classroom app, and it also launched a new ClassKit framework that enables third-party developers to integrate their educational apps with Apple’s own broader education system on iOS.
The new Schoolwork app, arriving in June, is meant to serve as a collaborative data-sharing environment for teachers and students. It enables teachers to make assignments in educational apps and track students’ progress on those assignments. In apps with collaboration features, teachers and students can work together on an assignment in real-time. Teachers can also use Schoolwork to send handouts to students. Because of its capabilities, Schoolwork is able to serve as a central schedule hub to keep students organized and on track.
The Mac version of Apple’s Classroom app will also launch in June, as a beta. It will serve the same functions as its existing iPad equivalent. Classroom differs from the new Schoolwork app in that it’s meant for instructors only, not students, and is used for general classroom management. The Classroom iPad app launched two years ago as a tool for school instructors to manage student devices and share files in bulk with the class, among other administrative functions, and it continues serving those purposes today.
With Schoolwork and Classroom, Apple now has a stronger student-teacher app ecosystem than before – but first-party apps weren’t the whole story Apple had to tell. To help further broaden the possibilities of Schoolwork and Classroom, third-party developers now have access to a new ClassKit framework, which will enable third-party educational apps to read and write information into the Schoolwork app, similar to how third-party health apps can use HealthKit to read and write data to Apple’s Health app. Apps can populate assignable content in the app, which teachers can then track the progress of. ClassKit is launching for developers as part of the forthcoming betas for Xcode 9.4 and iOS 11.4.
Apple has updated the Apple TV Special Events app with the artwork used in the invitation for its March 27th education event in Chicago. The update to the app encourages users to:
Watch the special event — held at Lane Tech College Prep High School in Chicago, Illinois — after it concludes.
While it’s a shame that the event will not be available for viewing in real-time, it’s not unprecedented. The last event held outside of Cupertino by Apple was another education event that was held at the Guggenheim Museum in New York City in 2012, which likewise was not available for steaming or downloading until after the event had concluded.
In separate news, MSNBC announced that Kara Swisher of recode and MSNBC’s Chris Hayes will interview Apple CEO Tim Cook on April 6, 2018 at 8:00 PM Eastern.
JUST ANNOUNCED: @MSNBC & @voxmediainc’s @Recode present “REVOLUTION: APPLE CHANGING THE WORLD” ft. @Apple CEO Tim Cook onstage with @karaswisher & @chrislhayes, airing Friday, April 6th at 8:00pm ET on @MSNBC. pic.twitter.com/GjgT5evSRu
— MSNBCPR (@MSNBCPR) March 23, 2018
Without more information it is unclear what the interview will cover, but given the proximity in time to the education event, it’s likely that education will be a topic of discussion.
Next Tuesday, Apple will take the stage at Lane Tech College Prep High School in Chicago to announce ‘creative new ideas for teachers and students.’ As any Apple event approaches, it’s natural to speculate about what products might be announced. After all, that’s what usually happens at an Apple event.
However, there’s a forest getting lost for the trees in all the talk about new hardware and apps. Sure, those will be part of the reveal, but Apple has already signaled that this event is different by telling the world it’s about education and holding it in Chicago. It’s part of a broader narrative that’s seen a shift in Apple’s education strategy that can be traced back to WWDC 2016. Consequently, to understand where Apple may be headed in the education market, it’s necessary to look to the past.
Last December, Apple announced a partnership with the Chicago Public Schools to bring Apple’s Everyone Can Code program to the city’s students. Today, Apple sent invitations out to members of the press about an event that will be held at Lane Tech College Prep High School in Chicago. The invitation, which is titled ‘Let’s Take a Field Trip,’ says ‘Join us to hear creative new ideas for teachers and students.’ The event is scheduled for March 27, 2018 at 10:00 a.m.
Just got an Apple invite for March 27th… in Chicago! Super into this. Looking like new iPad Pros with that pen motif? pic.twitter.com/9m1t2fs0AC
— nilay patel (@reckless) March 16, 2018
The invitation doesn’t provide details of what Apple has in store for the event, but the debut of iOS 11.3, a new Apple Books app, and new entry-level iOS hardware targeted at the education market are all possibilities.
Apple has released version 2.0 of the Swift Playgrounds iPad app. The app provides an interactive learning environment for the Swift programming language. With version 2.0, Apple has introduced subscriptions to playgrounds from third-party creators. According to Apple’s developer news site:
You’ll automatically see new and updated playgrounds in your subscriptions, a content gallery that shows all playgrounds in a single view, new robots, and much more.
Subscriptions can be added by entering a URL or by browsing a gallery Apple has created, both of which are accessible from an ‘Add Subscription’ button in the top right-hand corner of the screen from which you add new playgrounds. As of publication, the buttons for adding subscriptions from the gallery do not work, but they should soon. When updated playgrounds are available, you can receive a notification too. Among the first third parties with subscription-based playgrounds are Sphero, Lego Mindstorms, UBTech, Parrot Drones, IBM, Mekamon, Wonder Workshop, and Skoog.
In addition to subscriptions, the update includes enhanced documentation for the Swift programming language and iOS SDK, and playgrounds can be opened from the Locations button in the Files app.
Apple has participated in Code.org’s Hour of Code challenge for the past several years. This year, the company is back again with a series of workshops for kids that run from December 4 - 10, 2017, which coincides with Computer Science Education Week. During free sessions:
Young aspiring coders can learn coding basics during a Kids Hour session, while those age twelve and above can use Swift Playgrounds on iPad to learn coding concepts and even program robots.
In addition to the in-store lessons, Apple has added a new coding challenge to its Swift Playgrounds iPad app with which students build and customize a digital robot and new teacher resources as part of its Everyone Can Code curriculum.
You can sign up for the Hour of Code sessions here, but act quickly because in years past, these sessions have filled up fast.