How Do You Like Them Apples?

Sydney Janik, Staff Writer

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Every year, we always read about or hear in the news about Apple’s newest addition to their array of technological advances, whether it be a new iPhone, an updated Mac Book, or a new Apple Watch. However, over the break, I was able to witness this news with my own eyes, along with a few other of my peers. On Tuesday, March 27, I had the opportunity to attend the Apple Education Keynote at Lane Tech High School. This was very exciting, since it had been the first time a product unveiling occurred somewhere else besides California in a very long time. The event started at 10 with a presentation full of amazing speakers that helped explained just what to expect in the upcoming months from Apple. To begin, Apple will be releasing a brand new 9.7 inch, one pound, 10 hour battery iPad. The newest addition will retail for $329, but will be on sale for schools to purchase for $299. Also, they will be increasing the iPad iCloud storage from 5GB to 200 GB for schools! The company claims that this iPad is more powerful than the competitors’ chrome books, and that it is the best product ever created for students and teachers.

However, the good news did not stop there. Apple also announced a new pencil tool that will work with various new apps on the newest iPad. To begin, Apple has updated several apps including Pages, Augmented Reality, Garage Band, Clips, Classroom, and Schoolwork. In Pages, a new program called Smart Annotation allows you to annotate PDFs directly on the page, where your marks will move as you do. This is the first feature to move annotations as you type. With the new iPad, each user will have the ability to access digital books where you can view illustrations, use group collaboration, and look at videos and pictures. Apple has also stepped up their game in regards to Augmented Reality. With the new iOS, users are able to use this as a platform to learn with Augmented Reality apps. First up is Boulevard AR, which allows you to view famous art in your classroom from museums all around the world. Next is Free Rivers, which allows a student to interact with different environments, explore landscapes in the classroom, and show students the impact certain decisions have on different environments. For example, a student can insert a high powered damn into an environment and see its effects in action. The last app mentioned is Froggipedia, which is an app perfect for any Biology class! It allows student to view a virtual frog and all of its inner workings. Also, you have the ability to dissect this frog with the Apple Pencil, without having to get your hands dirty! Advancements in Garage Band bring with it new sound updates for kids and Clips allows you to enhance your videos more than you ever could before! A new app called Classroom gives teachers access to view just what their students are doing and gives them the ability to lock students into certain apps to ensure they are being productive in the classroom. Schoolwork lets a teacher view just how well their students are understanding the topics their teaching. The teacher is able to get the students handouts, odds, documents, group projects, and homework. It also can point a student to a certain app and assign a specific activity directly to the student. After the activity is completed, the teacher is able to see how long the student was working on the activity, how well they did, and how well they are handling each topic. All this information stays privatized and can only be seen by the teacher. Also, Apple launched a new curriculum called Everyone Can Create, very similar to its coding curriculum called Everyone Can Code. Everyone Can Code gives students an easy and fun gateway to read and write code. Students are given the opportunity to take free classes for coding and also learn valuable skills in critical thinking and problem solving. Everyone Can Code uses apples coding language called Swift, which is the fastest growing coding language. It is available in 15 languages and available in 150 countries. With this program, kids are able to learn basic coding skills that can eventually help them build and create apps of their own. With Everyone Can Create, students are able to take lessons in music, video, photography, and drawing. Teachers can access numerous free teaching and learning resources to Bette their understanding of material and gain new ideas for how to run lectures and to incorporate new ideas into their lessons plans.

This star-studded event allowed me to see the unending possibilities that Apple continues to provide platforms for with their continued advancements. My fellow Spartans and I weren’t the only ones excited to hear about this exciting news! Among the group, were Mayor Rahm Emmanuel, Former Vice President Al Gore, and the current CEO of Apple, Tim Cook. Overall, this was an amazing experience that foreshadowed many opportunities kids like me all around the world will have with the newest advancements from Apple. Everyone there understood how important education was, and just how important technology is in the education process. It was fantastic to see several representatives from Apple so involved with bettering the education process and providing a platform for all different paths of education.

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