Apple announces new education-focused iPad model

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Yesterday, Apple hosted their annual spring event far from their home location of California, taking it all the way to a Chicago high school. The location was fitting, considering the focus of the event centered around how Apple hopes to change the education market in schools. The market is currently dominated by Microsoft and Google.

The biggest announcement of the show was their new “affordable” iPad that allow for stylus support. While iPad’s previously had stylus support, this new model will work with the Apple Pencil, which was only compatible with the more expensive iPad Pro model. The education-focused iPad will come standard with Touch ID, an HD Facetime Camera, an 8-megapixel rear camera, and run on Apple’s quick A10 Fusion chip. The updated battery will have 10 hours of sustained battery life. The iPad will be sold to schools around the world for a discounted price of $299, the cheapest iPad model Apple has ever released.

Along with the Apple Pencil, Apple announced support for a cheaper third-party stylus called the Logitech Crayon. It will work with the new iPad model, and is colorful, intended to appeal to younger students. The stylus will retail for $49, half the price of the $99 Apple Pencil.

Apple plans to improve functionality with an update to their iWork software. Many schools offer Google or Microsoft Office software to get to students, but Apple will be further incorporating support for the Apple Pencil, hoping for a more intuitive experience with their school projects and assignments. They also announced a new Digital Book Creation tool that allows teachers and students create books of their own by adding pictures, hand drawn illustrations, and notes. Teachers will also be able to mark up documents and assignments submitted by students using the Apple Pencil.

Along with the new software updates, Apple announced a new app called Schoolwork. The app will allow for teachers to manage their classroom digitally. Schoolwork will give teachers the ability to completely run their classroom using an iPad, by handing out digital assignments, homework, activities, and due dates for various class projects.

Apple ended their event by announcing a new initiative called “Everyone Can Create,” with the iPad becoming the best creative classroom tool available for teachers and students. The initiative will focus on four areas: music, video, photography, and drawing. Apple is trying to push digitally creative work to a new generation of students that have grown up with it. The curriculum will begin a full rollout this summer.

Avid writer and reader with a curious mind. I'm always looking to get the most out of life! Follow me on Twitter @whatsaschoon

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