Become a MacRumors Supporter for $25/year with no ads, private forums, and more!

MacRumors

macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
52,060
13,670


Apple is bringing some significant updates to several of its education apps, led by a new Schoolwork 2.0 for iPad and Mac, reports CNET.

schoolwork_classroom_apps.jpg

Schoolwork is Apple's app that allows teachers to distribute class materials known as Handouts to students, assign activities within compatible apps, collaborate with students, and view student progress. CNET says Schoolwork 2.0 will bring new feature like Files integration, speed improvements, and more.
Apple designed Schoolwork 2.0 to include features found in other iPad OS apps, like Files, and to speed up navigation around the software. There's a new Handout library with a source list on the left side that makes it easier to navigate to different classes or the student's library with drafts and favorites. On the right are cards with things like reminders for a field trip or a math assignment.
Other new features include a redesigned Handout detail view and new communication integration to let teachers FaceTime or message students at a tap.

In addition to Schoolwork, Apple is also updating its Classroom app for iPad that functions as a teaching assistant within a classroom to launch apps and websites across all devices in a classroom, share a student's screen to the teacher's iPad or a classroom Apple TV, share documents, and more.

The updated Classroom app includes pinch-to-zoom functionality, automatic syncing of Apple School Manager classes to the teacher's Apple ID, and new temporary sessions for shared iPads.

The updated versions of Schoolwork and Classroom are coming "soon," according to CNET, with no specific launch dates given.

Article Link: Apple Updating Schoolwork and Classroom Apps With New Distance-Learning Features and More
 

bag99001

macrumors regular
Jun 11, 2015
165
137
Apple won’t admit the bottom line for schools is price. It’s a shame because what kids are doing on chrome books is pathetic. It’s essentially the same word processing that was happening on Apple IIs in the 90s rather than the creative work you can do on an iPad or full featured computer. Districts don’t care though...at least no one on top making the decisions. Apple has got to do more to highlight the creative and learning potential of their products and how poor the alternatives are. Most people don’t know any better and simply see x number of devices needed and the cost per device.
 
Comment

cateye

macrumors member
Oct 18, 2011
76
134
It is a shame they have lost the education market. ... They had the market and then really lost the plot.
I don't know that it was just expense—I live in, and send my daughter to, a school district that is lucky to be very well funded, and generously supported by organizations like the PTO. Yet despite this surplus, iPads are few and far between, and are slowly being phased out in favor of the dominant Chromebooks using technologies like Google Classroom and Schoology.

Apple has an enormous amount of hubris about how they want education to work, versus how it actually works, and that's why their solutions are largely being cast aside regardless of financial resources. Apple wants to sell hardware—for Apple, it's about moving iPads as an end goal in itself; education wants a service, less-so the hardware, so they can be more self-deterministic on how to physically provide that service. Their competitors have no such preconceptions and focus on creating solutions that are self-sustaining and relatively easy for educators to administer. Until that idea sinks in at the executive level in Cupertino, Education is a lost cause for Apple.
 
Last edited:
Comment

960design

macrumors 68040
Apr 17, 2012
3,221
1,111
Destin, FL
It is a shame they have lost the education market.
I agree. Apple just needed to hire a couple of PhDs to write a few textbooks, get the textbooks on the 'state approved list' and sell them for $19 / year. Traditional textbook companies that have completely dropped the ball on moving to digital in the last ten years would be out. Apple would have ruled the education market worldwide.

Devices are too expensive in most cases.
iPad 10.2 costs $299 plus $25 for a protective case: $324. Give one to a student every four years. 12 years of public school would cost under $1000. One year of a student's current paper textbooks can cost $900 ( 6 books at $150 each - some more, some less ). The school uses the same book for about 5 years before replacing. That would be between $1500 - $2500 over 12 years of public school for traditional textbooks. iPads could be less expensive overall and at worst equal.

They had the market and then really lost the plot.
Apple does not prioritize education as they seemed to have done back in the 90s.
 
Comment

Ultramove69

macrumors regular
Dec 23, 2017
111
327
Columbus Ohio, USA
I'd love to see the education marketshare turn around but when Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) districts exist a $149 Chromebook is much more appealing. One to One districts have to consider that price point too, sometimes the sights are on getting the device over the durability. Apple needs an EMac version of the iPad...easy to state the problem, difficult to create the fix.
 
Comment

AtomicDusk

macrumors regular
Jul 24, 2014
114
294
San Diego
Apple won’t admit the bottom line for schools is price. It’s a shame because what kids are doing on chrome books is pathetic. It’s essentially the same word processing that was happening on Apple IIs in the 90s rather than the creative work you can do on an iPad or full featured computer. Districts don’t care though...at least no one on top making the decisions. Apple has got to do more to highlight the creative and learning potential of their products and how poor the alternatives are. Most people don’t know any better.

I argue those who make decisions are:
1. Focused on cost
2. Actively anti-mac, as is prevalent amongst IT folk
3. Don't understand capability differences between platforms
4. Don't understand how to implement the technology to augment education

That said, I completely agree that Apple has lost sight of educational needs and could have/should have been playing that game more aggressively. If they had to sell devices at or near cost to compete with chrome books I wish they had. Sure it dilutes profit per unit; however, might it result in paying back in dividends? Millions of kids (hypothetical) could get used to the capability, build quality of Apple devices that when they are older they will become customers. Focus on profit per unit and minimal discounts for education just really misses the mark.

Finally, Apple waited too long to roll out these software solutions like Schoolwork and Classroom mentioned in the article.
 
Comment

nutmac

macrumors 603
Mar 30, 2004
5,014
4,108
It is a shame they have lost the education market. Devices are too expensive in most cases. They had the market and then really lost the plot.
Classroom and Schoolwork need web versions, just like Google Classroom and just about any remote learning solutions.

Awarding "Apple Distinguished School" to schools that have 1-to-1 Apple device to student, is also a shallow attempt at getting schools to adopt their products.
 
  • Like
Reactions: profets and Dj64Mk7
Comment

Red Oak

macrumors 6502
Jun 14, 2011
296
1,548
Google has steamrolled Apple in the Educational marketplace. It's unbelievable that a company that talks about education so much STILL does not have product/software/services market fit

School administrators are overwhelmed. They simply want a low maintenance Chromebook with Chrome that connects to all web based services and software. Very low administration, limited updating of software. Even in well-off school districts

Also, I've noticed that most of the apps for iPad are simply wrappers for web-based content. They are EXACTLY the same on the Chromebook. Apple thinks it has an app/software advantage, when it really does not.

You hope there are groups of people in Cupertino pounding the table internally arguing for change
 
  • Like
Reactions: SBC44
Comment

EugW

macrumors G3
Jun 18, 2017
9,357
6,756
If Apple wants the education market, it needs software that is Multiplatform... That's why Google has succeeded imho.
Agreed, but after being forced to use Google Classroom and associated apps for the last two months, I can safely say it sucks. Its main advantage is that is cross-platform.

What Apple needs IMO is native apps for iPads and web apps for laptops, but that are well integrated and easy to use, and centrally managed by Apple’s own software. Google Classroom is multi-platform but the client-facing software package is a total mess.

As for cost, all they need a reasonable price for the iPad, which they already have, or else a reasonable price for the combo of the iPad with a compatible keyboard using the Smart Connector. Trackpad would be a bonus but not completely necessary, at least at the lower grades.
 
Last edited:
Comment

69Mustang

macrumors 604
Jan 7, 2014
7,741
14,702
In between a rock and a hard place
Apple won’t admit the bottom line for schools is price. It’s a shame because what kids are doing on chrome books is pathetic. It’s essentially the same word processing that was happening on Apple IIs in the 90s rather than the creative work you can do on an iPad or full featured computer. Districts don’t care though...at least no one on top making the decisions. Apple has got to do more to highlight the creative and learning potential of their products and how poor the alternatives are. Most people don’t know any better and simply see x number of devices needed and the cost per device.
None of what you wrote is true. What kids learn on iPads and Chromebooks are essentially the same things. The majority of education software is ecosystem agnostic. Primarily the major difference is device control - touch vs keyboard. Google and MS provided both interfaces, and not ironically Apple is more and more positioning the iPad to use touch and keyboard. This will benefit them in business and education imo.

Districts do care, but they also have to balance that care with the realities of their budgets. They go hand in hand. Google, MS, and Apple all realize that. Imo, even though Apple realized the constraints of education budgets, they still approached the market with the same type of game plan they used with the consumer market. In hindsight, it was the wrong game plan.
 
Comment

bag99001

macrumors regular
Jun 11, 2015
165
137
I agree. Apple just needed to hire a couple of PhDs to write a few textbooks, get the textbooks on the 'state approved list' and sell them for $19 / year. Traditional textbook companies that have completely dropped the ball on moving to digital in the last ten years would be out. Apple would have ruled the education market worldwide.

iPad 10.2 costs $299 plus $25 for a protective case: $324. Give one to a student every four years. 12 years of public school would cost under $1000. One year of a student's current paper textbooks can cost $900 ( 6 books at $150 each - some more, some less ). The school uses the same book for about 5 years before replacing. That would be between $1500 - $2500 over 12 years of public school for traditional textbooks. iPads could be less expensive overall and at worst equal.

Apple does not prioritize education as they seemed to have done back in the 90s.

I have taught using digital textbooks. They aren’t free. An iPad isn’t a replacement for paid content. They also use Paper textbooks way longer than 5 years. You’ll never save money using technology... but the question shouldn’t be that... it’s are you doing something better or new you couldn’t have done before? That’s when technology integration for education has some strong pedagogical benefits. Otherwise you’re just reinventing the same old way of doing things with a pretty device.

[automerge]1590075024[/automerge]
None of what you wrote is true. What kids learn on iPads and Chromebooks are essentially the same things. The majority of education software is ecosystem agnostic. Primarily the major difference is device control - touch vs keyboard. Google and MS provided both interfaces, and not ironically Apple is more and more positioning the iPad to use touch and keyboard. This will benefit them in business and education imo.

Districts do care, but they also have to balance that care with the realities of their budgets. They go hand in hand. Google, MS, and Apple all realize that. Imo, even though Apple realized the constraints of education budgets, they still approached the market with the same type of game plan they used with the consumer market. In hindsight, it was the wrong game plan.

I have worked in schools for 16 years as a teacher and administrator and have been on 3 k-12 district technology committees during that time. I know how decisions go...I’ve been in those meetings and I’ve seen the thought process and discussions first hand.
 
Last edited:
  • Like
  • Love
Reactions: profets and Dj64Mk7
Comment

TriBruin

macrumors regular
Jul 28, 2008
222
477
I argue those who make decisions are:
1. Focused on cost

A vast majority of public schools are funded by tax payers. Schools often run on very thin budgets and are often funded at the whim of whomever is in charge of the government. Focusing on costs is important.

2. Actively anti-mac, as is prevalent amongst IT folk

While there might be little bit of that, I think this troupe is going out of favor. Most "IT" people in schools are typically teachers or other administrators that do this on the side. Only very large districts have dedicated IT staff. Many schools still use Macs and would prefer them.

3. Don't understand capability differences between platforms
Your right there are huge different in the implementation. Apple wants to sell hardware. But, to manage that hardware, you need to go buy MDM software(Jamf, Mosyle, etc.), go buy identity management system (Azure AD, Google Cloud, etc.), go buy an email provider (O365 or Gmail) and integrate in to your SIS system. Google gives schools a single source for managing their devices (Chrome management, Gmail, etc). Plus though tools like Google Classroom and Google Docs, IT teams don't have to work with 3 or more vendors. Just one (Google) or two (the Chromebook vendor).

4. Don't understand how to implement the technology to augment education

That said, I completely agree that Apple has lost sight of educational needs and could have/should have been playing that game more aggressively. If they had to sell devices at or near cost to compete with chrome books I wish they had. Sure it dilutes profit per unit; however, might it result in paying back in dividends? Millions of kids (hypothetical) could get used to the capability, build quality of Apple devices that when they are older they will become customers. Focus on profit per unit and minimal discounts for education just really misses the mark.

Finally, Apple waited too long to roll out these software solutions like Schoolwork and Classroom mentioned in the article.

Schoolwork and Classroom are nice. But they are just the tip of the iceberg. Implementing an Apple based learning system still requires multiple components.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Dj64Mk7
Comment

bag99001

macrumors regular
Jun 11, 2015
165
137
A vast majority of public schools are funded by tax payers. Schools often run on very thin budgets and are often funded at the whim of whomever is in charge of the government. Focusing on costs is important.

This is true and a problem with the way funding works on an annual budget basis. Total cost of investment over time is barely considered... only initial up front cost. A better quality product in almost any realm of education, let alone technology, is rarely considered because it costs money in the short run. This is why districts can’t hire experienced staff anymore too... too high on the salary schedule, and so first year teachers are an unspoken (and sometimes even outright stated) requirement by upper administration for replacing retirees or other experienced staff leaving. It ignores retention or the cost of mentoring the staff and cost of learning on students to always push for young staff...in the same way the cheapest tech always gets the nod. Hence everyone using google classroom instead of a better full featured learning management product such as Schoology, Edmodo or blackboard.




While there might be little bit of that, I think this troupe is going out of favor. Most "IT" people in schools are typically teachers or other administrators that do this on the side. Only very large districts have dedicated IT staff. Many schools still use Macs and would prefer them.


That has definitely not been my experience - I’ve worked in tiny and huge districts. Only one’s leader wasn’t anti apple and all of them had dedicated IT staff running the technology and major purchasing decisions with very minimal input by purely educational staff.
 
Comment

NMBob

macrumors 65816
Sep 18, 2007
1,375
1,315
New Mexico
It is a shame they have lost the education market. Devices are too expensive in most cases. They had the market and then really lost the plot.

And the software. A relative of mine is a teacher and she was telling me about all of the stuff she could do with Google junk to teach with her and the students all at their homes. Pretty impressive.
 
Comment

robjulo

Suspended
Jul 16, 2010
1,527
2,742
That’s a huge generalization as to the “pathetic” comment and 100% not true as far as my experience with a daughter currently in 10th grade, who used a tablet/computer throughout elementary and midle schools.

Apple won’t admit the bottom line for schools is price. It’s a shame because what kids are doing on chrome books is pathetic. It’s essentially the same word processing that was happening on Apple IIs in the 90s rather than the creative work you can do on an iPad or full featured computer. Districts don’t care though...at least no one on top making the decisions. Apple has got to do more to highlight the creative and learning potential of their products and how poor the alternatives are. Most people don’t know any better and simply see x number of devices needed and the cost per device.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Dj64Mk7
Comment

bag99001

macrumors regular
Jun 11, 2015
165
137
That’s a huge generalization as to the “pathetic” comment and 100% not true as far as my experience with a daughter currently in 10th grade, who used a tablet/computer throughout elementary and midle schools.


I'm glad to hear your experience has been different. I've worked in two states in several districts. I don't see a trend towards using technology in an interesting way as a general rule. There are exceptions, but broadly the tech tends to be used mostly for google docs and the occasional slideshow.
 
Comment

jacg

macrumors 6502a
Jan 16, 2003
947
69
UK
Apple won’t admit the bottom line for schools is price. It’s a shame because what kids are doing on chrome books is pathetic. It’s essentially the same word processing that was happening on Apple IIs in the 90s rather than the creative work you can do on an iPad or full featured computer. Districts don’t care though...at least no one on top making the decisions. Apple has got to do more to highlight the creative and learning potential of their products and how poor the alternatives are. Most people don’t know any better and simply see x number of devices needed and the cost per device.

Too true. Can’t believe my pupils have to use janky software like google docs as if we were in a 20 year time warp. I find bugs and frustrating limitations in Google Classroom every day but we are forced to use it. Our pupils’ iPads are gathering dust in school and they are at home. Home BYOD if you like, which sadly has no place in Apple’s education options.

Although, on price, I agree with the other poster that three-four years use out of an iPad is actually good value, and it comes with truly transformative educational capabilities.
 
  • Like
Reactions: AtomicDusk
Comment

EugW

macrumors G3
Jun 18, 2017
9,357
6,756
And the software. A relative of mine is a teacher and she was telling me about all of the stuff she could do with Google junk to teach with her and the students all at their homes. Pretty impressive.
My kids are two such students. Yes they can do a lot of different stuff, but the software implementation is disorganized and poorly thought out IMO, and there are tons of UI annoyances. I was describing them to a web designer friend and he said in several areas it would fail accepted UI design guidelines. To put it another way, we are continually fighting with the software. It does work, but it ain't pleasant.

BTW, on an iPad, without a keyboard, I find Google Classroom and Google Docs almost unusable. For this reason, I immediately purchased two keyboards for their two iPad Air 2s. Luckily I found two name brand keyboards for uber cheap with immediate availability. I ended up buying iPad Air 1 keyboards and modded them to fit the iPad Air 2. That seems stupid, but they were the only name brand ones shipping immediately that didn't cost an arm and a leg. (Name brand ones that were maybe only $30 more were available, but weren't shipping for a month.)

That said, I suspect if I were an educator making purchasing decisions, I'd probably like Apple's solution even less. Apple's solution is not even cross-platform, and from what I understand it requires too much work (and money) on the IT management side.
 
Last edited:
Comment

bag99001

macrumors regular
Jun 11, 2015
165
137
My kids are two such students. Yes they can do a lot of different stuff, but the software implementation is disorganized and poorly thought out IMO, and there are tons of UI annoyances. I was describing them to a web designer friend and he said in several areas it would fail accepted UI design guidelines. To put it another way, we are continually fighting with the software. It does work, but it ain't pleasant.

BTW, on an iPad, without a keyboard, I find Google Classroom and Google Docs almost unusable. For this reason, I immediately purchased two keyboards for their two iPad Air 2s. Luckily I found two name brand keyboards for uber cheap with immediate availability. I ended up buying iPad Air 1 keyboards and modded them to fit the iPad Air 2. That seems stupid, but they were the only name brand ones shipping immediately that didn't cost an arm and a leg. (Name brand ones that were maybe only $30 more were available, but weren't shipping for a month.)

That said, I suspect if I were an educator making purchasing decisions, I'd probably like Apple's solution even less. Apple's solution is not even cross-platform, and from what I understand it requires too much work (and money) on the IT management side.

Nailed it on all of these accounts.

Apple is not making the management side easy. Their educational software is also not working independent of the hardware. It could work BETTER on an iPad or a Mac but it simply cannot work ONLY on those products - very few schools would (or should) get pigeon holed there. I understand the technical benefits of knowing the hardware/software from one vendor and the product can be better in many ways - but that's a huge hurdle for schools with legacy equipment and also other equipment they want to purchase later for a different, appropriate purpose, such as a windows machine, that won't be able to access the online learning systems, because it's not cross platform, or web based.
[automerge]1590081030[/automerge]
Too true. Can’t believe my pupils have to use janky software like google docs as if we were in a 20 year time warp. I find bugs and frustrating limitations in Google Classroom every day but we are forced to use it. Our pupils’ iPads are gathering dust in school and they are at home. Home BYOD if you like, which sadly has no place in Apple’s education options.

Although, on price, I agree with the other poster that three-four years use out of an iPad is actually good value, and it comes with truly transformative educational capabilities.

I agree - iPad, and apple products in general, still offer great value over time - and even the initial cost is not a huge hurdle for iPads although I still hear people quoting incorrect pricing on iPads - Apple needs to promote that low-end price more! They look at the mini and think the 9.7" iPad is even more money and don't realize it's actually cheaper! But they don't make as good "word processing" machines as Chromebooks and the Google Suite- which is essentially what teachers are often still doing with the tech. There are some great tools out there for technology now, and one of the few opportunities presented by the rapid push to remote learning has been the force-fed PD that has occurred on some interesting tech tools and allows students to learn and present their knowledge in different ways. Teachers are just not giving the support, time, or $$ to do these interesting things on a regular basis however, so they just fall back on what they can do to survive. It's really tough. There are also a lot of great apps out there, but schools are running into legal situations where they can't allow certain apps to be used because they don't meet privacy requirements, so they get stuck just using the same-old-same-old out of fear. Many teachers use apps and websites they aren't "supposed" to.
 
Last edited:
Comment

UnusedLoginID

macrumors regular
Feb 28, 2012
230
220
Apple lost the education market in 1984…! They launched a very expensive machine (Macintosh) with no slots for expansion and totally left the Apple // to die.
Then Steve jobs left and did the same mistake again with NeXt. His Cube was aimed at higher education and it was too expensive.
When he came back and launched the iMac in 2000 it was too late for education. The iMac did regain traction and it could be seen in computer labs in schools and colleges, but mostly the ones with money, ie private. The public education system went with the freebies (Chromebook and Google apps).
Apple knows that they can’t compete with free.
 
Comment
Register on MacRumors! This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.