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Apple launches multiple new products for education

+Apple+CEO+Tim+Cook+gives+a+speech+about+Everyone+Can+Code+during+the+keynote+of+the+educational+event+hosted+by+Apple+at+Lane+on+March+27.+%E2%80%9CIt+makes+it+fun+and+easy+for+everyone+to+learn+to+code+whether+they%E2%80%99re+in+the+classroom+or+at+home.%E2%80%9D
 Apple CEO Tim Cook gives a speech about Everyone Can Code during the keynote of the educational event hosted by Apple at Lane on March 27. “It makes it fun and easy for everyone to learn to code whether they’re in the classroom or at home.”

Apple CEO Tim Cook gives a speech about Everyone Can Code during the keynote of the educational event hosted by Apple at Lane on March 27. “It makes it fun and easy for everyone to learn to code whether they’re in the classroom or at home.”

Apple CEO Tim Cook gives a speech about Everyone Can Code during the keynote of the educational event hosted by Apple at Lane on March 27. “It makes it fun and easy for everyone to learn to code whether they’re in the classroom or at home.”

By Joshua Tarafa, Editor-In-Chief

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Drones buzzed through hoops in one room as guests tried to maneuver them using their iPad. At the same time in the guitar room, attendees took turns trying on outfits from the play Romeo and Juliet and creating their very own short film on iMovie.

After multiple weeks of renovations to the Lane auditorium, lawn and school PA system, Apple CEO Tim Cook walked across the auditorium stage in front of a screen that presented a drawing of Lane created by a single stroke of an Apple pencil.

Apple arrived at Lane on March 27 to unveil their latest line of educational products, including a new iPad.

The new iPad has a 9.7 inch retina-display and weighs only one pound. It will cost $299 and now supports the company’s digital writing tool: Apple Pencil.

New versions of the apps Pages, Keynote and Numbers will be included for free on the new iPads. Smart annotations is a new feature to the iPad that allows the user to draw annotations on their text and have the annotations move with the text as it is changed or deleted.

Greg Joswiak, Apple’s Vice President of Worldwide Marketing, said during the keynote that the new iPads can be shared by any student in the school and accounts can be switched from one user to another in under a minute. The tech team at a school can also create 1,500 accounts at a time to be used in a matter of seconds, according to Joswiak.

The announcement of easier access to the iPads came with an expansion of storage for all Apple IDs managed by a school. Accounts will now include 200GB of storage, according to Cook.

The other big reveal at the event was that Apple is launching a new initiative called Everyone Can Code, bringing coding opportunities to community schools, community colleges, technical colleges, and vocational schools, including the City Colleges of Chicago.

“We created a comprehensive new curriculum called Everyone Can Code using our Swift Playgrounds app,” Cook said, during his keynote speech. “It makes it fun and easy for everyone to learn to code, whether they’re in the classroom or at home.”

Lane will host to the “Center For Excellence” in partnership with Apple and Northwestern University, according to The Verge. Northwestern professors will lead free sessions for teachers to learn the Everyone Can Code curriculum.

“Bringing things like coding to all kinds of kids at all kinds of schools is important,” Susan Prescott, Vice President of Marketing for Apple, said.

The apps and iPads discussed during the event are already available for purchase and are being utilized in schools around the world. Teachers from schools in London, Baton Rouge and Chicago were all invited to the event.

Nikole Blanchard, a teacher at The Dunham School in Baton Rouge, said during the keynote that she utilizes Apple’s Everyone Can Code in her classroom.

One of the apps presented during the keynote is an Augmented Reality app. Boulevard AR allows students to view artwork from museums around the world up close, according to Joswiak.

There were multiple classrooms set up after the keynote for attendees to try out the products that Apple unveiled. The app Garageband was used to create background music and voice overs for presentations, while Swift Playgrounds was used to test coding on a dancing robot.

All of these apps are also available on the newly released iPad. Apple also announced new technology for teachers in the classroom.

Apple’s Classwork app will begin beta on Mac beginning in June, according to Prescott. Classwork allows teachers to assign handouts, tap into other apps and give visibility into individual student progress.

“What is really cool is we make it easy for you to assign students a specific activity within an app so with one tap students can go to that activity you wanted them to complete,” Prescott said.   

Former and current politicians showed up to the event to check out the advancements Apple is making to step into the classroom. Mayor Rahm Emanuel said that he recognizes how tremendously helpful Apple has been in Chicago Public School’s efforts towards individual learning and coding.

“I think it highlights as [Tim Cook] said that you have 6,000 plus school districts across the United States,” Emanuel said. “They picked one school district school because of the success we’ve had in using kids of all walks of life and making it not only to graduation day but to college.”

Gov. Bruce Rauner was also in attendance. He told reporters after the keynote outside of one of the classrooms, about the event and a variety of topics surrounding the race for Illinois governor .

“We look forward to expanding their technology and putting more capability in the hands of students and teachers,” Rauner said.

Prescott said that Apple is excited for their new products to reach their full potential in areas that current alternatives like Chromebooks and the Google Classroom app cannot.

“We’re excited because we are not just trying to do the same thing and bump someone out of space,” Prescott said. “What we’re trying to do is tap into what technology can really do in a classroom.”

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Apple launches multiple new products for education