• Gwen Hedden

Were the Teachers at the 2018 Apple Education Event Swayed by the Bell?

Updated: Jul 20, 2018

Was Apple successful in winning over the Education market?

This morning, Apple brought the world back to school.  Instead of holding their first launch event of 2018 in Cupertino, Tim Cook invited droves of eager Apple enthusiasts and tech devotees to Lane Tech College Prep High School in Chicago to hear about Apple’s newest developments and devices for Education.  As was to be expected, Apple spared no expense in treating each attendee to a fully immersive experience-- as every individual entered the building, they were each provisioned with a unique class schedule and a hearty breakfast before they were ushered down the long hallways towards the Lane Tech Auditorium for an assembly.  Announcements were heard over the loudspeaker, and the bell rang to alert them when the “field trip” event was to begin.

Participants excitedly tweeted from their seats about how the venue instilled an intoxicating sense of nostalgia; as Scott Stein, Senior Editor at CNET, took his seat in the auditorium he commented how the tight, narrow seats reminded him of his grammar school days.  As he and his "techie" colleagues prepared for the Keynote, they noticed how the cramped quarters impeded their ability to establish an environment for learning-- with the uncomfortable lack of legroom making textbooks, notebooks, and full-sized laptops more of a distraction than an aid.  One Senior Editor from CNET observed how easily his iPad mini fit in on his lap, while his colleagues struggled with their larger devices, “We’ll if this isn’t an effective advertisement for iPads, I don’t know what is”.

At first glance, the 110 year old halls of Lane Tech may have seemed an unusual setting for Apple’s launch for the future of Education, but the site was effective in putting the audience right where Cook wanted them: in the seat and mind of a student today.  Before a word of the Keynote was ever spoken, each attendee was able to observe within their experience that morning how the antiquated schools of the past needed to evolve to address the needs of our present and future. This set the stage for what Tim Cook and his team wanted to communicate to their audience -- “Technology has an important role in the classroom” and on March 27th, Apple illustrated how it was going to redefine the student experience and change it for the better.

“Well if this isn't an effective advertisement for iPads, I don't know what is.”

During the Keynote, Apple premiered its new iPad, which is an affordable variant of the iPad Pro that was released last year.  With its larger display, faster processing, and Pencil support, the new device confronted many of the issues that had previously kept people from selecting iPads for schools in the past.  For the most part, however, Apple focused their Keynote on promoting their new Educational applications and platforms for the new iPad that transcend what was ever thought possible before in k-12 classrooms with a single device.

After the Keynote, participants milled throughout the halls, following their bell schedules and attending workshops that showcased how the new, lightweight iPad offered an all-in-one solution for an interactive, engaging, and dynamic learning experience that fostered creativity, innovation, and deep-learning.  Participants were invited to spend the day “playing school”, and many were left feeling jealous of those students who would enjoy an education framed within Apple’s dream of a better tomorrow.

CNET closed their live coverage of the event asking the big question: “Is this the platform that needs to be in classrooms?”  Only time will tell as this war for the Education Market wages on. To learn more about how the new iPad measures up to its competition read my blog, The 2018 iPad: Did Apple just change the game?


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