4 Things Educators Need to Know About the New Apple iPad

Posted by Sydney Myers

March 30th, 2018

Apple events are always intriguing, but the tech giant’s latest event was especially exciting for educators. Along with a new iPad, Apple announced new apps and tools that are designed to boost learning and help teachers manage their classroom. Bottom line, if you’re an educator, this event was a big deal. Here are 4 things you need to know about the new Apple iPad. (Hint: Click a link in the list below to jump to a specific topic.)

Topics:

  1. What’s New
  2. New iPad Accessories
  3. Better Education Apps
  4. New Classroom Management Apps

New Apple iPad

The $299 iPad now supports Apple Pencil – a bonus for students. (Photo: Apple)

Not surprisingly, Apple announced new hardware. This new Apple iPad is familiar, but there is one major difference: it now comes with support for Apple Pencil.

Here is the full rundown:

Price: $299 for schools; $329 for the general public.

Features: A 9.7-inch display, Touch ID, an HD FaceTime camera, an 8 MP rear camera that shoots 1080p HD video, and 10 hours of battery life.

The big news is Apple Pencil support, especially since Apple introduced new features that make use of Pencil, which we’ll get into later. Previously, only the iPad Pro had Pencil support.

Overall, this new iPad is not Apple’s top-of-the-line tech, but it should be plenty for any classroom user.

iPad Accessories

Apple announced a new Logitech stylus and rugged case. Both were designed with students in mind.

The Logitech Crayon stylus is cheaper than the Apple Pencil ($49 compared to $99), has a colorful design, and has an easy-to-grip flat surface that prevents rolling.

Logitech’s rugged case received an update. The keycaps are pry-resistant and silent (no more loud clicking while everyone is busy typing), and the case is spill-resistant. It will sell for $99.

Education Apps

This is where the fun really starts. Technology can be a major learning asset for students, and Apple looked to capitalize on that opportunity by adding support for Apple Pencil and new features that take advantage of the stylus.

iWork now supports Apple Pencil

Students can now write notes in iWork and Microsoft Office apps. (Photo: Apple)

Why is this a big deal? Because tablets have become excellent digital note-taking tools; however, if you wanted to use Apple Pencil, you would need to shell out at least $649 for iPad Pro – not an option for most schools. The $299 iPad plus the $49 Logitech Crayon is much more attractive.

Apple Pencil support in Pages, Numbers, Keynote, and Microsoft Office apps – This means you can mark up and annotate documents, spreadsheets, and presentations. For teachers and students, this adds a level of collaboration that didn’t exist before.

For example, teachers can mark up documents while students add their own notes. With the new Smart Annotation tool, notes are anchored to the words, so your marks stay with the text as it moves or as more is added.

Digital Book Creation – A few years ago, Apple released the iBooks Author app, which allowed Mac users to create digital textbooks. Apple expanded on this tool by adding the ability to create digital books using Pages on iPad.

Teachers and students can now build books together, adding images, handwritten notes, and hand-drawn pictures.

With all of these new features, Apple saw fit to expand the amount of iCloud storage for students to 200GB.

Everyone Can Create

Everyone Can Create is a curriculum designed to teach students to use creative skills to develop and communicate ideas. The curriculum uses apps like Clips, GarageBand, and iMovie, all of which come free on every iPad.

Apple will also provide teachers with tools to help them integrate these skills into every subject. A student can produce a video for history class or a drawing for science class.

Everyone Can Create is available for preview now and will fully launch this fall.

Classroom Management Apps

With all of these new learning tools, Apple made sure they made the software improvements needed to make iPad more appealing for teachers and schools.

 

Photo: Apple

Classroom

The Classroom app allows teachers to manage their classroom and keep their students focused. Teachers can view any student’s iPad screen on their iPad or Mac. You can even control an individual student’s or your entire class’ iPad. This allows you to keep the classroom on topic and make sure every student is seeing what they need to see.

Shared iPad

Teachers can use Shared iPad to create multiple profiles for a single iPad. Students simply grab a tablet when they walk into class, login, and access any apps, assignments, or files they’ve stored or set up in their profile.

Schoolwork

The Schoolwork app is billed as the “new home base for you and your students”. And it looks promising.

Schoolwork is billed as the “new home base for you and your students”. And it looks promising.

Teachers can give out and collect assignments as easily as sending an email, according to Apple. These assignments can include web links, PDFs, documents, and even links to activities within other apps. Students can view all of their assignments in the app, organized by class and due date.

Teachers can also use Schoolwork to keep track of each student’s performance and progress.

The Schoolwork app will launch in June, giving teachers time to become comfortable with the app before school starts.

Apple School Manager

For the IT department, Apple School Manager is a web-based portal that IT administrators use to easily create, assign, and manage Apple IDs. According to Apple, you can create 1,500 Apple IDs in less than one minute.

All in all, this was a big day for education technology. Are you using tablets in your classroom? What benefits have you seen from using technology in education? Let us know by leaving a comment down below!

Watch the video to see Apple’s vision for iPad in education.

Posted in: School, Teaching

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