Apple has made its major push in the education market. During its keynote in Chicago at the event, the company revealed its plans with a bevy of new apps, APIs and other software tools. Apple announced its cheapest iPad ever. Apple has pitched it specifically for students.
9.7-inch iPad with Apple Pencil support
Apple’s 9.7-inch iPad was upgraded with Apple Pencil support. It also comes with a cheaper price tag for some. It costs $299 for schools buying in bulk or $309 if you qualify for special education pricing.
The new model includes a speedy A10 Fusion processor along with its 2048-by-1536-resolution display. It includes an 8-megapixel camera on the back, Touch ID, GPS, compass and gyroscope. Apple promises up to 10 hours of battery life. That should be enough for continuous use throughout the school day.
Apple Pencil alternative
Apple gave a little bit of stage time to Logitech’s Crayon. It’s a cheaper alternative to the Apple Pencil — and built specifically for schools. The sturdy, $49 Logitech stylus is aimed squarely at the educational market.
Free iCloud storage upgrade
The 5GB iCloud account storage has been upgraded to 200GB for free. However, it is only applied to students. If you’re not a student and you had a 5GB iCloud account, it’s not being upgraded to 200GB for free. The upgrade announced today only applies to students.
Smart Annotations are coming to Apple’s iWork suite of iOS apps later this year. With the upcoming versions, along with the Pages, Numbers and Keynote will allow iPad owners draw directly on reports with the Smart Annotations features. It’s a great update for students and regular users alike.
Classroom for Mac
The teaching assistant app, in the iOS version, helps teachers guide the students through lessons, automate with their progress, and let keep them on track.
The all-new Schoolwork app
Teachers and students are getting some much-needed help from Apple in the form of the new Schoolwork app. It’s basically a command centre for education. Schoolwork let us assign specific activities within the app, and students will be taken there automatically. The app can also check students’ progress, making it easy to see if they have done their work and helping teachers tailor classes to the needs of individuals.
Guider’s can use Schoolwork to give handouts, assignments and apps to their students. They can also use the app to send class reminders about field trips or group work updates.
ClassKit API framework
To make it easier for developers to create apps that play well with Schoolwork, Apple created a new API called ClassKit. It does most of the heavy lifting works of integrating with the Schoolwork’s best features so that developers can concentrate on making the best apps on the education platforms.
AR apps with Swift Playgrounds
Teaching kids to be great Swift coders is high up on Apple’s list of priorities. Augmented reality is one of Apple’s other big priorities, so it’s merging the two with some new lessons in Swift Playgrounds that teach kids how to build AR apps.