Apple had their now annual iPad event in San Francisco yesterday. Here’s three things that came out that I think are brilliant for education and schools.
- With the last two iPhone announcements, Apple has left the previous models for sale with a reduced price. This time around with the iPad, they’ve left the iPad 2 for sale at a lower price point of £329. (Pretty good discount, especially if you’re equipping say 1000 pupils with them). At the moment, I think the iPad 2 is just fine for education settings where the saved money is better spent on (e)books, apps and other content. I would still recommend teachers being issued with the latest and greatest model as that does future proof it’s use for an extra year.
- Apple Configurator is a new piece of software from Apple that allows administrators to update, install apps, do backups and, yes, configure up to 30 iOS devices in one go. This will save a ton of time and releases the individual teacher from having to do any of this.
- New Apple TV (£99) and a tiny detail in its settings. This would easily be missed if you weren’t looking for this. In our Blue Sky Classrooms project, we’re using Apple TV to enable teachers to be wireless and mobile in the classroom. Up until now any iOS device (that’s capable of doing this) could use AirPlay to stream the screen or photos or video to any Apple TV on the same network. No password required. This is obviously an issue if you have a large network accessed by both teachers and pupils; it’s only a matter of time when someone ‘accidentally’ AirPlays something undesirable. Apple TV now has the ability to password protect AirPlay. Fantastic.
If your school is looking at doing something with iBooks Author, there’s an update for that to support the Retina display. You should also check out Tumult Hype. It’s a very very powerful HTML 5 authoring tool that can now also export in iBooks Author widget format.