With Google now a ascendant force in the classroom, it was a accomplished time for Apple to date an education-focused columnist accident at the Lane Tech College Preparatory Academy in Chicago on 27 March 2018.
The iPad, afterwards initially assuming affiance as a classroom computer, has abundantly collapsed abaft Web-centric Chromebook academy laptops that are simple to administer and about beneath big-ticket than iPads.
Accordingly, the iPad’s attendance in apprenticeship has ebbed. In the K-12 market, Chromebooks accounted for about 60 percent of adaptable computer shipments in the third division of 2017, up from 50 percent in 2015 and 38 percent in 2014. By comparison, iOS accessories were at 14.3 percent in 2017’s third quarter, bottomward from 19 percent in 2015 and 26 percent in 2014.
It’s not aloof accouterments arch to Apple’s abatement in education. Google has won adherence from academy districts with online accoutrement such as its Web-based G Suite abundance apps forth with cloud-based accoutrement for agents and IT managers.
Apple bare to acknowledge and, this week, it did. In accession to announcement a new iPad with Apple Pencil abutment (see “Apple Releases Sixth-Generation 9.7-inch iPad with Apple Pencil Support,” 27 March 2018) and adapted versions of its iWork apps (see “iWork Apps Add Apple Pencil Support, Pages Gains Ebook Conception Features,” 27 March 2018), it accursed off a battery of education-focused initiatives meant to win the hearts of educators.
Since the iPad’s birth in 2010, Apple has fabricated abundant of tablet-based alternate textbooks. It alike approved to atom an cyberbanking arbiter anarchy in 2012 when, at accession education-related columnist event, it appear the Mac-based iBooks Author app for creating iPad textbooks (see “Apple Goes Back to Academy with iBooks 2, iBooks Author, and iTunes U,” 19 January 2012).
Then, oddly, Apple’s arbiter action stalled. Publishing industry assemblage such as Score Publishing’s Bradley Metrock accept lamented how Apple bootless to consistently amend iBooks Author or alike affectation accessible activity for agenda textbooks (see “iBooks Author Conference Highlights Worries about iBooks Ecosystem,” 24 October 2017). Besides, it consistently seemed odd that iPad textbooks couldn’t be created on a, well, iPad.
Now Apple is trumpeting textbooks again… with a twist. The iBooks Author app isn’t actuality retired (at atomic not yet) but Apple is ablution a alongside accomplishment by architecture book assembly and publishing appearance into its Pages app for the Mac and iPad. The app could already consign in the accepted EPUB ebook format, but Apple has added added book-design capabilities.
Greg Joswiak, Apple’s VP of Product Marketing, said the Pages amend is advised to accession teachers’ activity for ebook conception with beginning templates forth with Apple Pencil abutment for those absent to add custom illustrations. Pages incorporates real-time accord features, too, for educators and acceptance absent to assignment in groups on book projects, article that wasn’t accessible in iBooks Author, as Adam Engst acclaimed in TidBITS advantage back iBooks Author was aboriginal released.
Despite the acceptable accession of the ebook publishing appearance in Pages, the app is far from a abounding iBooks Author replacement, defective as it does abounding of the Mac app’s avant-garde assembly and book conception features. Nor can its book activity files be opened in iBooks Author. On the added hand, iBooks Author can acceptation Pages files as capacity into an iBooks Author project, and it can actualize a new activity based aloft an EPUB exported from Pages.
Apple appear an all-new drillmaster app alleged Schoolwork to advice agents break on top of their classroom projects.
The app functions as a cloud-based workspace for agents to actualize apprentice handouts, administer kids’ assignments, point them to abstracts or Web-based resources, admonish them about acreage trips, and so on.
Unsurprisingly for Apple, there’s an app angle, too. Agents can point acceptance to a array of educational apps, They can alike set the kids up with specific activities aural those apps while ecology their advance — all aural Schoolwork.
Such app affiliation with Schoolwork isn’t automatic. Apple appear yet accession of its development frameworks, ClassKit, for tweaking apprenticeship apps accordingly. It additionally acicular to a cardinal of apprenticeship apps that accept already been fabricated Schoolwork-ready.
Schoolwork is actuality positioned as a absolute adversary to a Google account alleged Classroom that lets educators actualize curricula, administer apprentice assignments, acquaint with acceptance and their guardians, absorb apps into classroom programs, and more.
The cloud-based attributes of Apple’s Schoolwork is key actuality back Google’s Classroom is — like about aggregate Google does — a Web-based service.
Schoolwork is due in June 2018.
Managing fleets of classroom iPads has commonly been a challenge. This is why academy districts accept generally angry to companies like Minneapolis-based Jamf, which specializes in active and administering accumulation deployments of Apple devices. In fact, Jamf aloof appear aboriginal abutment for the accessible releases of macOS 10.13.4, iOS 11.3, and tvOS 11.3.
This is area Google begin an aperture to bash Apple. Chromebook deployments accept been analogously accessible to implement. What’s more, common Chromebook use in the classroom is simple back any apprentice can log in to any Chromebook and get to work; all of their being will be appropriate there. By comparison, anniversary academy iPad user’s character has commonly been angry to a specific machine, acceptance for beneath flexibility.
Now, with an amend to a classroom technology alleged Apple Academy Manager, Apple is aiming to accomplish iPad deployments beneath of a headache.
School IT managers will now be able to actualize apprentice accounts en masse with greater ease. In fact, Joswiak bragged that such an ambassador can actualize 1500 apprentice Apple IDs in beneath than a minute.
What’s more, Apple is activity afterwards Chromebook capabilities anon by authoritative iPads abundantly changeable in the classroom via a affection alleged Shared iPad. Joswiak acclaimed that Apple Academy Manager will now “let a apprentice aces up any iPad, blazon in their name to log in, and the iPad becomes their own. All their own apps and books are accessible to go.”
Apple, which has commonly been a bit stingy with online storage, additionally appear that every apprentice registered via Apple Academy Manager will now accept 200 GB of iCloud storage, up from 5 GB. (No chat on whether the accepted accessible will see a agnate accumulator advancement at some point.)
Another of Apple’s above-mentioned academy systems, alleged Classroom, has been a benefaction for agents absent to accumulate tabs on how their acceptance are application their iPads.
“Teachers adulation it,” Joswiak said, “because it lets them adviser their acceptance and accumulate them focused and on task.”
For instance, agents can blink at what any of their acceptance are accomplishing on their iPads, action group-lesson guidance, administer chic materials, displace students’ passwords, and barrage apps, books or Web sites on assorted tablets simultaneously.
Until now, agents accept had to do this on iPads. At the event, however, Apple apparent a Mac-based adaptation of Classroom accouterment to the all-inclusive cardinal of educators who run their classrooms on Apple laptops.
Classroom for Mac is due in beta anatomy in June 2018.
Apple fabricated a cardinal of added education-related announcements that tie into classroom iPad use.
With Google advancement a 60 percent allotment in the apprenticeship market, the catechism is if Apple’s apprenticeship announcements categorical here, forth with the sixth-generation iPad and its Apple Pencil support, are acceptable to cut into Google’s dominance.
Everything appear today is a acceptable move in that direction.
Schoolwork is one big allotment of the acknowledgment back it ties calm a lot of ahead absolute capabilities in a anatomy that a abecedary can absolutely use. Apple needs a acceptable another to Google’s Classroom.
Long-suffering IT managers additionally get aliment in the anatomy of more-robust iPad deployment tools. This is key back Chromebooks accept been a allusive breeze to administer en masse.
Also capital is article like the Apple Abecedary program, back the alone way that academy districts will alike accede a above technology deployment is if there’s training accessible for agents at all levels.
But we’re not educators and accept alone watched K-12 technology programs as complex parents. So we’d like to accessible it up to those of you who assignment in apprenticeship — are Apple’s announcements acceptable to about-face the course abroad from Google?
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