Good news for students: Apple’s entry-level iPad has just been upgraded and now as Pencil support, as well as brand new software specifically designed for classroom use.
The latest new 9.7 inch iPad looks nearly identical to its former 9.7” self, yet features upgraded internals that should not only improve performance but also increase battery life. Also, if you’ve heard of Apple’s proprietary stylus, fittingly named “Pencil”, then you’ll be happy to know that these new iPads will not only be compatible with the Pencil system, they’ll also be work perfectly with apps built for the iPad Pro.
Upgraded Internals, Increased Battery Life
As mentioned, the brand-new 9.7 inch iPad will be faster and last longer between charges. It proudly sports a speedier A10 Fusion chip processor, which helps it to not only handle augmented reality apps with ease but also multitask while running multiple apps like a champ. You’ll also be happy to hear that the latest iPads feature Touch ID, will last up to 10 hours on a single charge and come with the same storage options as previous models.
The New 9.7 Inch iPad Is Just $299 for Schools
The new 9.7-inch iPad will go on sale this week, with pricing starting off at $329 for general consumers. However, if you’re a student in the K-12 market, you’re in luck! Apple is offering the 9.7 inch iPad for just $299 for students along with the Pencil for $89 ($99 for consumers). If the $89 price is a bit off-putting, no worries, Apple also announced that Logitech is releasing their own version called the Crayon for iPad. The Crayon will retail for $49.
New iPad, New Classroom-Specific Apps
Along with the release of this new iPad, Apple also announced a new iPad app for teachers known as Schoolwork. This cloud-based, free app allows teachers to distribute handouts to students as PDFs as well as create class activities within the app of which students complete on their individual iPads.
Let’s say a teacher decides to give a math lesson or task through the app – students will simply open up the Schoolwork app while the teacher can follow along with each students progress. The Schoolwork app will also tell the teacher the rate at which students are completing their work, all while keeping student activity confidential. The Schoolwork app is slated to be released in June, just in time for the following school year.
What’s more, the already-available Classroom app has seen some upgrades. If you weren’t aware, the Classroom app allows teachers to check iPads in-and-out while keeping track of student activity on each iPad. Anyway, the Classroom app is now capable of monitoring more individual iPads and can be loaded on a Mac desktop.
Updates Galore! Garage Band, Augmented Reality and More
While it’s not new software, Apple also announced some kid-friendly sound packs for Garage Band, as well as improvements to their coding app, Swift Playgrounds. The coding app will now feature AR Kit actions, including an app called Froggipedia. “What’s that?” you ask, well it’s an app that allows students to dissect a frog virtually using an Apple Pencil, of course. Pretty cool if you ask me.
Apart from the classroom-focused software and apps, Apple has also announced new versions of their iWork apps, including Keynote, Pages, and Numbers with support from the Apple Pencil.
Hopefully, the release of this new 9.7 inch iPad will attract more students and teachers to bring Apple into their classrooms. With a fair student discount, appropriate hardware upgrades and a plethora of new classroom-focused software, what classroom wouldn’t want to give these iPads a try?