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Apple’s Education event is finally here

Last updated on February 16, 2019

 

Finally, Apple’s education event has come, and let me just say, this is what some distinct individuals in the tech community call a “clonker” because they have such potential to release some amazing products, and while the new 9.7 inch education-based iPad is “exciting”, it doesn’t necessarily change the Apple landscape.

The Main Focus

The main focus of today’s announcement was the new “affordable” iPad with stylus support. They call this affordable because it is less expensive compared to all similar iPad models released in the past. This iPad will sell at $299 for schools, but $329 for everyone else. The biggest update with this iPad is that it’ll finally work with the $99 Apple Pencil ($89 for students / teachers), which was previously only supported by the iPad Pro.

The new education-based iPad will include Touch ID, an HD FaceTime camera, an 8-megapixel rear camera, and run on Apple’s A10 Fusion chip. It claims 10 hours of battery life and will be available in an LTE version as well.

Tech Specs 

Just like almost all other standard iPad Models, this comes in both Wi-Fi ($329) and Cellular Models ($459). These options come in 32 GB and 128 GB. Here’s the kicker: all models purchased for educational use, are $299. Those same educational models, which are available exclusively for schools only also come with 200 GB of iCloud storage, compared to Google Classroom’s unlimited storage.

While this is a sizable difference, 200 GB is still “virtually” unlimited, especially for educational purposes. At least in my opinion, no student needs unlimited cloud storage but Google does have the money and the power so, why not?

Shifting their focus

Apple has been severely lacking in the education field but, as proved by them yesterday, Tuesday March 27, there is always room for improvement. With the new iPad, Apple is introducing a new app called Schoolwork, for teachers to manage their classroom digitally. Schoolwork allows teachers to hand out digital assignments to students, such as homework, activities, and mark due dates on various projects. While this is pretty cool, Apple isn’t the first to do this. For example, Canvas by Instructure is another platform that is leading. However, presumably most of their usage comes from chrome books for two main reasons; they’re cheaper and they’re easier. Apple is certainly easier but not cheaper. 

While students were the main focus of the educational portion of the app, for teachers, Apple continues to push its Apple Teacher program that shows the different ways to use Apple apps in the classroom and rewards them with badges when they accomplish it, an idea rarely shown in the classroom but definitely smart!

A new program

Apple also introduced a new program called Everyone Can Create similarly to their previous Everyone Can Code program that was introduced to help everyone, mostly students learn to code with apps like Swift Playgrounds, adaptive Xcode software, and much more. They are taking this initiative to a whole new level with the Everyone Can Create Program

This new program is basically a curriculum created by Apple. The curriculum focuses on four areas: music, video, photography, and drawing. With tools like Clips, a built in iPad app and GarageBand, Apple is pushing students to “create”  digitally at a young age — something that’s clearly of interest to a demographic that grew up on YouTube, Snapchat, and Instagram as their primary sources of web entertainment. Students can also use Augmented Reality, something Apple has continually been hyping up, and selling especially with the recent release of iPhone 8 and iPhone X

Everyone Can Create will be available for preview starting today. The full program will be available in early summer.

 

Apple also announced some updates to iWork, promoted some Logitech Crayons but either than that, that was the event. Again, kind of a small event for a company that could release so much at once, but that just leaves more room for speculation for WWDC in June of 2018.

Other coverage here.

IMPORTANT LINKS

View the full keynote here

Learn more about the iPad here

See Apple’s Homework commercial here

See Apple’s Pencil commercial here

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Jay Doherty, Jr. 2019. All rights reserved.
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