• Gwen Hedden

The Apple 2018 Keynote: A Tribute to Teachers

Updated: Jul 6, 2018

If the new iPad is a "Love Letter" to Education, the keynote was a tribute to the important work of teachers

During the Apple Keynote, Susan Prescott presented Apple’s new “Tools for Teaching”, which placed “Joz” and Cook’s lofty goals and ambitions for the future of Education within a realistic framework.  During her presentation, she demonstrated how Teachers could effortlessly implement and manage these powerful tools and applications within their classrooms. Using Classroom, Schoolwork, and Class Kit, Prescott illustrated how teachers will soon be able to easily provide student-centered, interactive, and engaging learning opportunities that aligned with each student’s individual learning needs.  

Prescott first acknowledged that developing this revolutionary technology was only half of the battle: “...we do know that the best products alone cannot create great learning experiences-- Teachers are the heart of the classroom, and we know it takes dedicated, passionate teachers to fuel students’ curiosity and to guide them to their full creative potential.”

In effort to combat the ever-present digital divide for teachers, Prescott indicated that Apple will be updating the Apple Teacher Learning Center, which is a free, self-paced, professional development platform that allows teachers to explore, learn, and practice with Apple products within the context of teaching.  Members of the Apple Teacher community will be able to receive badges for their skill-building efforts and gain inspiration from other passionate and dedicated Educators. As Apple launches these new classroom management, LMS, and curriculum programs this summer, the Apple Teacher Learning Center will include professional development resources to support teachers as they prepare to integrate them in the 2018-2019 school year.

“...we do know that the best products alone cannot create great learning experiences-- Teachers are the heart of the classroom, and we know it takes dedicated, passionate teachers to fuel students’ curiosity and to guide them to their full creative potential.”

Prescott was excited to demonstrate how Apple’s new developments for Education had not only considered the needs of the students, but also that of their teachers:

  • Classroom for Mac (Summer 2018): Teachers can now manage student devices using the Classroom app from their Mac, as well as their iPad.  Using this tool, teachers can monitor student devices within their classroom, instantaneously push applications and assignments, track student progress, and communicate with students who may need more support.

  • Schoolwork (Summer 2018): Teachers can now harness the power of the 200,000  Educational applications made for iPad through Schoolwork, a digital control center that allows teachers to easily forward assignments, apps, and activities to student devices.  Additionally, teachers can use this tool to analyze student progress and learning data, in order to provide adaptive, and personalized learning programs that best meet each student’s individual needs.  This portal also allows for safe and secure collaboration, communication, and feedback between teachers and students.

  • Smart Annotation: With Smart Annotation, Teachers can use the Apple Pencil to provide written feedback that attaches itself directly to a student’s document.  

  • Create your own iBook (Pages): Teachers can now create their own interactive learning resources using the iBook print feature within Pages.

  • 200GB iCloud Storage for Educational Institutions

  • ClassKit: Enjoy the ability to integrate the best Educational Apps out there within your classroom!  ClassKit is a developer framework that merges popular Educational applications with Schoolwork    

  • Everyone can Code Curriculum: Apple has enhanced their Swift Code Playgrounds App & Swift Coding programs to include opportunities for students and teachers to learn basic code, manipulate digital characters, control robots, and create their own apps.  With easy to follow guide books, skill-development opportunities, and fun interactive playgrounds, it is easy to learn how to code and develop this valuable skill!

  • Everyone can Create Curriculum (Summer 2018):  In effort to enhance creativity, innovation, and deep-learning, Apple will be launching the “Everyone can Create” Curriculum program to support the integration of moviemaking, photography, drawing, and music within all content areas.  With enhancements to programs like GarageBand, iMovie, Clips, and Pages, Apple is working to generate more opportunities for students to enjoy freedom of expression in their learning.

Even though Prescott indicated that many of these new programs will not be released until this summer,  the discussion of them was perhaps the most pivotal and important aspect of the Keynote. While Cook and Joz’s introduction of the new iPad was certainly significant, Prescott’s acknowledgement of the principle need for teachers to learn, explore, and understand how to implement these new technologies was perhaps the most relevant.  In this strategic move, Apple not only showed the world what their tools could do, but also illustrated how they wanted to play a supporting role in the revolution of Education, and indicated that they already had a plan in place. As skeptical educators were wrapping their heads around the feasibility of AR in their classrooms or integration of new devices, Prescott illustrated how Apple had created easy-to-use tools and helpful resources that would aid them in making  these lofty goals a reality for their classrooms.

As teachers left the Keynote, they were encouraged to go and play with the new devices, programs, and accessories for the rest of the day.  Apple used this opportunity to demonstrate several activities and ideas in these workshops that helped to illustrate how the student experience would be enhanced in an environment with the new Apple for Education tools.


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