'education' Articles

Apple's ConnectED Program Has Helped Over 32,000 Students

Apple today announced that its ConnectED program, which saw the company donating $100 million in products to schools and teachers across the country, has impacted the lives of more than 30,000 students. As of the 2016-2017 school year, there are 32,145 students at underserved public schools who have received iPads from Apple to bolster their education. Teachers have received more than 9,042 Macs and iPads and Apple has helped to install 189 miles of internet cable in schools. Along with equipment, Apple sends Professional Learning Specialists to schools around the country to help administrators, teachers, and students get the most out of the technology. The latest school to join Apple's ConnectED program is the Carver Elementary School in Indianola, Mississippi, the 66th ConnectED school. Carver Elementary School has 701 students, all whom now have iPads with educational-focused apps to work with. Apple joined ConnectED, a $750 million corporate educational initiative announced by President Obama, in 2014 and has since remained committed to providing underserved schools with cutting edge classroom equipment. Other companies involved in the ConnectED initiative include AT&T, Verizon, and

Apple Drops Free AppleCare, Lowers Discount on Macs for U.K. Students

Along with expanding its free Beats promotion to Europe, Apple has quietly changed its education incentives for students in the United Kingdom. As of this week, Apple's online higher education store in the U.K. now offers up to 10 percent off Macs and other qualifying purchases, whereas the discount was previously up to 15 percent off. The base model 13-inch MacBook Pro now costs £898.80 for students and £999 otherwise, amounting to roughly 10 percent off. Apple also no longer includes three years of complimentary AppleCare with Macs, with one year of phone support, and instead offers students 50 percent off the protection plan. AppleCare for the MacBook, MacBook Air, and 13-inch MacBook Pro, for example, is now £99.63 for students and £199 otherwise. The changes mean that a student purchasing a new 13-inch MacBook Pro with AppleCare, for example, will now be required to pay £150 or more extra. The free Beats Solo2 Wireless On-Ear Headphones included with a qualifying Mac purchase retail for £269.95, so the difference amounts to around £100 to £120. Apple's higher education store in the U.K. is now closer in line with the U.S., Canada, and elsewhere, where Apple has offered students up to 10 percent off with no AppleCare included for several years. It remains unclear if the changes are permanent, or only for the duration of the free Beats promotion in Europe. Update: To clarify, Apple only offered three years of complimentary AppleCare for Mac purchases made through its online higher education store in the U.K. Physical retail stores only offered AppleCare

Apple Offers to Replace iPads With MacBooks in Maine State Classrooms

Apple and the Maine Department of Education have offered to swap school iPads for MacBooks at no additional cost, after it emerged that students and teachers overwhelmingly favor the use of laptops in class. According to a report in the Lewiston-Auburn Sun Journal, schools in Auburn and other districts in Maine are set to benefit from the "Refresh" swap, following surveys of students and teachers across grades 7 through 12, which revealed that 88.5 percent of teachers and 74 percent of students preferred laptops over iPads. An Edward Little High School senior works on her iPad during class (Image: Sun Journal) iPads were perceived to have poor educational value in the classroom and were often used to play games in class, while laptops allowed students better opportunities for school work. The preference gap widened even more when it came to older students, who saw laptops as better devices for coding and programming tasks. "The results are pretty darn clear," said Auburn School Department Technology Director Peter Robinson, who conducted the survey. "The findings made the decision for us." Robinson said that three years ago, after seeing success with iPads in primary grades, he thought iPads were absolutely the right choice, but now he realized iPads have shortcomings for older students. One teacher wrote in the survey that iPads "provide no educational function in the classroom. Students use them as toys. Word processing is near to impossible. I applaud this change." "The iPads are largely students' gaming devices," another teacher wrote, while one called

Apple Acquires Education Analytics Company LearnSprout

Apple has purchased education-technology startup LearnSprout, reports Bloomberg. LearnSprout is a company that develops software for schools and teachers to track student performance and other metrics. Apple will likely use its technology to build out its classroom tools to encourage schools to adopt iPads and other Apple products. Apple confirmed the acquisition with the standard statement it gives on purchases: "Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans." According to its website, LearnSprout software is already used in more than 2,500 schools across the United States. It aggregates all student grades across the school, letting teachers and administrators hone in on students that may need more help. LearnSprout aims to allow schools to analyze collected data, discovering trends on attendance, college readiness, student health, and more. To combat waning iPad sales, Apple has been making an effort to make the tablet more appealing to educational customers. In iOS 9.3, Apple is introducing a wealth of new education-oriented tools, including shared iPads for students, a dedicated Classroom app that allows teachers to guide students through app-based lessons, an Apple School Manager for easily managing student accounts and courses, and new Apple ID creation and management options for

New Education Features in iOS 9.3 Include Shared iPads, New Classroom App and Improved Apple ID Management

With iOS 9.3, Apple is introducing a number of new features that are specifically geared towards the education market. Outlined on a new Education Preview site, education-oriented features in the iOS 9 beta include shared iPads for students, a new classroom app, an Apple School Manager feature, and an improved Managed Apple IDs function. Apple's new Shared iPad feature is designed for educational systems where a 1:1 student-to-iPad ratio isn't possible. It gives each student an Apple ID that can be used to log into any iPad in the classroom, with all of the student's content readily available on any device. That means students can switch from classroom to classroom, logging into an iPad in each class while the iPad remains in the classroom for all students to use during class time. Students have access to all of their apps, books, and documents when logging on, and for a student that uses the same assigned iPad in a class each day, an intelligent caching system keeps all of their content at the ready. Shared iPad uses a photo login system to make it easy for kids to find their assigned iPad, and a PIN system for logging in makes the system easy for younger children. Along with Shared iPads, there's a new Classroom app. With Classroom, teachers can launch the same app on all student iPads at the same time and guide students through the app. A Screen View feature lets teachers see what's on any student's iPad at any given time, and it allows teachers to lock apps to keep students on task. There's also a feature for helping reset student passwords directly within

Tim Cook Calls Chromebooks 'Test Machines', Discusses Testing at Hour of Code Event

Apple CEO Tim Cook today spent some time at a New York City Apple Store during its Hour of Code event, commenting on what Apple hopes for the future of education and discussing the success of Google's Chromebooks in the education market. In an interview with BuzzFeed, Cook was asked about Google's Chromebooks overtaking Apple's iPads as the most popular devices in American classrooms. Cook said that Apple wouldn't be following Google's strategy in the education market, calling the lower-priced Chrombooks that have taken over American classrooms "test machines." BuzzFeed notes that Cook is alluding to one reason Chromebooks have gained in popularity in the education market. As schools turn to computerized testing their need for cheap devices with integrated keyboards and trackpads has increased, rather than tablets that cost more, like Apple's iPads. Apple, says Cook, is not interested in advancing testing. Instead, Cook said that Apple is interested in "helping students learn and teachers teach, but tests, no." Apple wants to create products "that allow kids to learn how to create and engage on a different level." In an interview with Mashable at the same event, Cook expounded his thoughts on testing, saying that the classroom of the future is based around problem-solving, creating and learning how to express yourself. “I’m not a fan of teaching to the test,” said Cook, “I think creativity is so important. Training the mind how to think is so important. Teaching to the test, to me, is too much about memorization. In a word where you’ve got all the

Apple Promotes iPad in Classroom With New Education Profiles

Apple has shared a new Heart Anatomy education profile and a Philadelphia Performing Arts school profile that promote the iPad in the classroom. The first profile shows how iPads allow Jodie Deinhammer, a science teacher at Coppell High School in Texas, to better educate her students about the complexity of the human heart using iTunes U, digital textbooks and apps including BioDigital Human, The Human Body Lite and MotiConnect.“The heart unit is important because kids need to know how to take care of themselves and live a healthy life. Heart disease is a huge problem, and it’s something they don’t know a lot about. […] With the heart unit, there are lots of great visualizations I could never provide before. Now students can just click on them on iPad, and it makes the learning more concrete, so it sticks with them.”iBooks textbooks such as Life on Earth provide Deinhammer's students with a closer look at heart anatomy and the complexities of blood flow through the heart muscle, while the iPad and other apps are also used in multiple lab activities for heart rate, histology, dissection and more.“The iPad has afforded our students the opportunity to learn science at a deeper level. They’re able to make connections that weren’t really possible before the technology came into the classroom.” The second profile provides a snapshot of how the Philadelphia Performing Arts, a String Theory Charter K-12 school, has used iPads to create custom learning materials and lesson plans for teachers. The school uses the iWork suite, iTunes U and other apps such as Elements 4D and

Apple Overhauling iPad in Education Program to Simplify Sharing Devices and Apps

Apple will be making significant changes to iPad deployment for education during the upcoming school year that should eliminate some of the hurdles that school districts face when adopting iPads for use in the classroom. In an email obtained by MacRumors, the company outlines plans to make app distribution easier by eliminating the need for an Apple ID to load apps, tweaking the Apple ID for Students program and unifying several deployment programs into one. Apple plans to simplify app distribution by allowing schools to assign and distribute apps to a device without an Apple ID this fall, reducing the number of steps needed to set up an iPad. Schools will no longer be required to create generic Apple IDs solely to load content on the tablet, and teachers and administrators will have the option to block students from making personal purchases without approval."To simplify large deployments, including one-to-one and shared use, we want to make app distribution even easier. Today, Apple IDs are required in order to deliver apps and books to students. We are working to change this in the fall by allowing schools to assign and distribute apps to a device without an Apple ID. As currently planned, this will greatly reduce the number of steps needed to setup a device. This change should eliminate the need to create generic Apple IDs solely for the purposes of getting content onto iPad. Schools will also have the option to prevent students from making personal purchases without approval."The email also outlines changes to the Apple ID for Students program to roll out during

Federal Review Blames Lack of Resources and Planning for L.A. Schools' Failed iPad Initiative

A recent study by the U.S. Department of Education has found the Los Angeles Unified School District's $1.3 billion "iPad-for-all" education initiative, announced in the summer of 2013, had been "plagued by lack of resources and inadequate planning for how the devices would be used in classrooms," reports the Los Angeles Times. The iPad initiative was officially canceled last month amidst an investigation by the FBI focusing on the relationship between Apple executives and former LAUSD superintendent John Deasy. The investigation was sparked by claims the bidding for the deal had been altered to favor Apple and Pearson, the higher-education company providing content for the iPads. The troubled project led to the resignation, under threat of dismissal, of former head of technology for LAUSD, Ronald Chandler. Deasy also resigned under similar circumstances last October. The new report deems the project too heavily focused on Apple's iPad as the centerpiece for the initiative, with no willingness to focus on a less-expensive alternative. It also found that the teachers who were supposed to incorporate the iPads into their classroom on a daily basis weren't provided nearly enough training in ways to successfully integrate the technology into an effective lesson plan. The report further mentions that senior managers were "unable or unwilling" to voice concerns over these issues before they snowballed into bigger problems, with the Department of Education mainly looking at a lack of an immediate replacement for Chandler, as well as general mismanagement of the