Apple is making a big push to get students to use its products in the classroom.
On Tuesday, the iPhone maker unveiled several new education tools during an event at Chicago's largest public high school, Lane Tech College Prep, in which it launched a new iPad.
Here's a brief look at the new tools and programs.
- Apple School Manager: Lets teachers create Apple IDs individually or in bulk. Educators and administrators can create IDs for schools of 1,500 people in less than one minute, Apple says.
- Classroom App for Macs: The program that's designed to help teachers manage students and keep them focused on tasks is coming to the Mac. It lets teachers see what their students are doing on their devices. It'll be available in beta in June.
- Schoolwork App: Allows teachers to manage assignments and handouts. It's cloud-based and lets teachers handle things like web links, field trip reminders and PDFs. It can also point students to certain apps, and specific activities within those apps. Schoolwork will be available in June.
- ClassKit: A developer tool that lets software makers integrate their apps into Schoolwork.
- Apple Teacher: A professional-support program for educators, designed to help them develop their teaching skills as they progress through the program and earn badges.
- Everyone Can Create: A new program that gives teachers free resources in four creative areas: music, video, photography and drawing. It's now in preview mode, but more content will be coming this summer.
"This is an important day for Apple," said CEO Tim Cook. "And we hope it's an important day for students and teachers around the world too."
The new tools put Apple in competition with Google, which created its own education initiative, Google Classroom, in 2014. The Google program, which is free for schools, lets teachers create classes and manage assignments for students. Google also gives students access to special classroom versions of G Suite apps like Docs and Sheets.
When it comes to schools, Google has become the go-to for many educators. More than 30 million children use Google apps in the classroom. Chromebooks, Google's affordable laptops, have also become a staple for schools. Chrome OS, the operating system that powers Chromebooks, currently owns about 60 percent of the K-12 education market, versus 17 percent for Apple, according to research firm Futuresource.
But while Google has taken over the education market in recent years, Apple is no stranger to courting students. The company used to give students special hardware deals, like throwing in a free iPod when they bought a new Mac.
When Apple first released the iPad in 2010, it was seen as a game changer for what it could do to digitize textbooks. In 2013, Apple won a $1.3 billion deal with the Los Angeles Unified School District to provide nearly 700,000 iPads bundled with Pearson curriculum for every student and teacher in LA. But the deal was plagued with problems and the school district, the second biggest in the country, cancelled the arrangement and received a $4.2 million settlement from Apple.
Now the company is trying again. Also on Tuesday, Applethat work with the Apple Pencil stylus. It costs $299 for schools and $329 for consumers.
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