Apple put on one of its big product-unveiling events today in Chicago, focused on the education market, and Recode was there.
Apple announced a few things: A new, faster iPad, which will support the Apple Pencil stylus, priced at $299 for the education market; some new classroom software; and a new creative curriculum called Everyone Can Create.
The goal of this post was to create a clean, simple, lo-fi record of what Apple announced, in chronological order, with light commentary. The Verge liveblog here has photos.
10am CT: Apple kicked things off with a video of kids playing and talking about changing the world. “We’ve always believed that people with passion can change the world,” Apple CEO Tim Cook says, noting that was on display this past weekend as kids led gun-control marches across the country. “We are deeply inspired” by those students, Cook said.
10:03 Today’s event is about technology, and Apple will be talking about that. He talks about Apple’s history in the education market, “and we’ve never stopped working on it.”
10:07 Apple offers classes in its stores, has launched classes in the City Colleges of Chicago, and has partnered with dozens of organizations to promote technology education. Kathleen Richardson, who works on Apple’s ConnectED education initiative, told a story about working with history students.
10:11 Cook: We’ve been fortunate to be invited into classrooms all over the world, from Shanghai — where they’re using iPads to teach — to London — where students make their own books and program drones in Swift. “They inspire us to create even better products” to help them unlock creative genius.
10:12 Apple marketing exec Greg “Joz” Jozwiak is up to talk about iPad — and what students do with it, from controlling robots to composing “their first opus.” He says there are more than 200,000 apps for education.
10:15 A London-based teacher, Cassey Williams, talks about how she uses iPads in her classroom, including the benefit of personal choice: “The students have virtually unlimited directions” they can take their learning. “They choose the path based on what they find interesting.”
10:18 Today, a new iPad, which is the first non-Pro model to support the Apple Pencil stylus. Apple is also releasing new versions of its iWork productivity apps, Pages, Keynote and Numbers, which support Apple Pencil. A new Pages feature — still in beta — called “smart annotation” lets someone — a parent or teacher, perhaps — add notes to the document.
10:23 Apple is launching digital book creation on the iPad, built into the Pages app, including group projects via digital collaboration. Previously, this pretty much required a Mac.
10:25 Of note, Apple is still including a home button with this iPad, and TouchID to unlock the iPad. No mention (yet) of FaceID. Paraphrasing Jozwiak: This iPad is more powerful than most PC laptops and virtually every Chromebook.
10:27 Augmented Reality, or AR, apps are now the focus. The new iPad can support them, and Joz is showing off a few demos, including the World Wildlife Federation app and something called Froggipedia, including a virtual dissection model. “There is no doubt that AR is going to dramatically change how this generation learns,” Joz says.
10:30 This new iPad will start at $299 for schools. (So, the same $329 for everyone else?) It’s available to order today, and will start shipping and arriving this week. Worth noting: The rumored $259 price tag was incorrect.
10:32 Apple is now showing off some software that lets kids share classroom iPads, and a School Manager app for managing students’ identity, etc. Apple is also increasing per-student iCloud storage to 200 GB from 5 GB — this should help.
10:34 Apple’s Susan Prescott joins to talk about what Apple is doing to help teachers — “the heart of the classroom.” First up, Apple is bringing its Classroom app, which lets teachers guide their students, to the Mac, in a beta, in June.
10:37 A new free app called Schoolwork, which lets teachers distribute handouts, make assignments, assign specific activities within apps, check on students’ progress — individually and as a class. One idea is that this might help teachers tailor activities.
10:40 Timely note: Prescott says it’s important that “this data stays private.” Apple doesn’t see this data, and neither does anyone else. There’s a new software kit called ClassKit, which a handful of developers have already had access to. Schoolwork is also launching in June.
10:46 “Everyone Can Code” — Apple’s curriculum to get students coding — has a new AR component.
10:52 Apple is announcing “Everyone Can Create” — a new creative curriculum focused on four disciplines: Music, video, photography and drawing. It’s launching as a preview today, with more content this summer leading up to next school year.
10:59 “This is an important day for Apple,” says Tim Cook, who is back to wrap things up. He cites Steve Jobs’ old line — Apple is at the intersection of technology and the liberal arts — and says “only Apple” can do these things. And then a funny video about homework! “You stink.”