Education is where Apple would like to have a stronger presence. The company just announced a new iPad that’s not only affordable but also packed with education-focused software. Bundled with the tablet are Classroom and Schoolwork, two apps that make it easy for teachers to manage the classroom.
Apple’s pairing the hardware and software together as a proposition for school districts to choose over Microsoft and Google’s offerings.
If you ask Apple, it’ll tell you the Classroom app is “a versatile teaching assistant” that lets teachers run the show from their tablet. The app stores entire rosters and how far along individual students are. Basically, it’s an overview of the classroom. Teachers get to see everyone at a glance.
The Schoolwork app, meanwhile, is where the work gets done. Teachers assign “anything from worksheets to activities in educational apps” with live updates following students’ progress. There’s also the ability to collaborate with them in real-time. When an assignment is set up by the teacher, it automatically appears on the students’ tablets with class, due date, and priority attached. If a particular student is having any trouble, he or she can get instant feedback.
Think of it like this: Classroom is the teacher’s hub, Schoolwork is the student’s agenda.
Apple made it incredibly easy for both teachers and students to take advantage of its tailored software. Teachers make Handouts, email-like notices that contain links, PDFs, documents, and apps. The student follows the instructions and progress is uploaded behind the scenes.
Developers also benefit from the company’s renewed interest in education. Launching alongside everything is ClassKit, a new API for third-party apps to tap into Apple’s platform.
Classroom has already been available, in case you didn’t know. Apple’s giving it a major upgrade now and bringing it over to Mac as well. Schoolwork is entirely new and will be offered to educators in June.