Apple Updating Schoolwork and Classroom Apps With New Distance-Learning Features and More
Apple is bringing some significant updates to several of its education apps, led by a new Schoolwork 2.0 for iPad and Mac, reports CNET.
Schoolwork is Apple's app that allows teachers to distribute class materials known as Handouts to students, assign activities within compatible apps, collaborate with students, and view student progress. CNET says Schoolwork 2.0 will bring new feature like Files integration, speed improvements, and more.
Apple designed Schoolwork 2.0 to include features found in other iPad OS apps, like Files, and to speed up navigation around the software. There's a new Handout library with a source list on the left side that makes it easier to navigate to different classes or the student's library with drafts and favorites. On the right are cards with things like reminders for a field trip or a math assignment.
Other new features include a redesigned Handout detail view and new communication integration to let teachers FaceTime or message students at a tap.
In addition to Schoolwork, Apple is also updating its Classroom app for iPad that functions as a teaching assistant within a classroom to launch apps and websites across all devices in a classroom, share a student's screen to the teacher's iPad or a classroom Apple TV, share documents, and more.
The updated Classroom app includes pinch-to-zoom functionality, automatic syncing of Apple School Manager classes to the teacher's Apple ID, and new temporary sessions for shared iPads.
The updated versions of Schoolwork and Classroom are coming "soon," according to CNET, with no specific launch dates given.
Top Rated Comments
Apple has an enormous amount of hubris about how they want education to work, versus how it actually works, and that's why their solutions are largely being cast aside regardless of financial resources. Apple wants to sell hardware—for Apple, it's about moving iPads as an end goal in itself; education wants a service, less-so the hardware, so they can be more self-deterministic on how to physically provide that service. Their competitors have no such preconceptions and focus on creating solutions that are self-sustaining and relatively easy for educators to administer. Until that idea sinks in at the executive level in Cupertino, Education is a lost cause for Apple.
Other posters here have it spot-on: Apple devices are not cost effective for 1:1 student deployments. Last time I got new devices for my kids, I talked to our Apple Edu rep and all but BEGGED him: help me help you win this bid. Couldn't do it. We went Chromebook for the kids and MacBook Air for the staff. For less than the cost of naked iPads with no cases, no warranty, and no management, I got Chromebooks with a 3-year accidental damage warranty, 6 years of management, and white glove service so they were already labeled, inventoried, and enrolled when they arrived. I handed them out to kids new-in-box. Yes, kids can make more multimedia on an iPad than a Chromebook, but here's the thing: they weren't doing that when they had MacBooks; they weren't doing it when I switched them to iPads; so how can I justify the premium for an Apple device when none of the benefits are actually benefits? How about instead I get them Chromebooks and have a mobile lab of 5 MacBook Pros for the occasional multimedia projects? Way more cost effective, and even the Apple Edu rep couldn't argue that point.