Apple, IBM to take partnership into education with app for teachers

Posted:
in General Discussion edited July 2015
It appears that Apple and IBM have plans to stretch their mobile solutions partnership beyond enterprise and into the classroom, as the companies are co-developing an experimental app that provides teachers with real-time student data analytics.




Building off "IBM MobileFirst for iOS," Apple and IBM have been working on an education package called the "Student Achievement App" for some time, the Coppell Gazette reported on Thursday.

Tentatively scheduled to roll out as a pilot program at four school districts around the U.S. in 2016, including the Coppell Independent School District in Texas, the Student Achievement App is a dynamic teaching tool that harnesses data analytics -- likely provided on the backend by IBM -- to supply educators with actionable intelligence on a per-student basis. The app will run exclusively on Apple hardware.

Representatives from Apple and IBM presented the project to the Coppell ISD Board of Trustees on Monday.

"It's the experience of bringing together phenomenal teachers, principals and administrators with great user experience people and great data scientists that will allow us to get to heart and transform what's going on in the classroom," said Alex Kaplan, global leader for IBM's personalized learning on cloud solutions team.

Kaplan said the MobileFirst for iOS offered an opportunity to discuss how that same technology might be converted to serve the education market. Members from Apple and IBM have been in discussions with the Coppell ISD for several months, the report said.

The app can be tailored to specific grade levels and subjects. Details are scarce, but it looks as though the app will be developed based on the flexible MobileFirst for iOS platform. It is not yet known whether Apple or IBM will take the lead in software development, but with MobileFirst deployments IBM does the heavy lifting with help from Apple.

"The idea here is we want to stimulate adoption," Kaplan said. "We want teachers to want to log on every morning. We want to change their work in such a way that they're excited to log on and see what's changed, what's different [...] we want that sort of rush of excitement."

A prototype Student Achievement App is slated for completion in one to two months, while a working first version should follow in the fall. School districts in Texas, South Carolina and Maryland are being considered as project partners.

Apple, known for its prowess in marketing technology in education initiatives, was recently dealt a blow when the Los Angeles United School District scrapped a $1.3 billion iPad-based program in December due to cost overruns, institutional mismanagement, security breaches and a questionable bidding round. LAUSD has since threatened legal action against unless Apple agrees to a multimillion dollar refund.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 45
    zabazaba Posts: 226member
    This is exactly what UK schools need right now. The majority are using self constructed, wholly inadequate xcel spreadsheets that are unmanageable, not share friendly and lack the efficiency of a proper bespoke product. Certain companies have built a solution, but they have based it on shitty xcel. So you are still walking through mud instead of jumping into a 4x4.
  • Reply 2 of 45
    robmrobm Posts: 1,068member
    Couldn't agree more.
    Here in NZ many high schools are using Goog Classroom. While it's kinda ok, it still falls way short.
    Promoted and serviced by ex MS techs busy pushing Chromebooks and servicing the school intranet.
    To be fair Goog have made massive inroads into education and it's not all bad - but geez it could be so much better.

    Cracks me up - kids have Chromebooks shoved down their throat because of price and many of the teachers are running around with MBP or Airs having to run Chrome browser. err apart from odd "freethinker" with a Samsung phone and running either WIndows or a Linux distro on their laptop.

    It ain't right
  • Reply 3 of 45
    appexappex Posts: 687member
    Bring that to a true real full computer like the Mac, not the iOS toy.
  • Reply 4 of 45
    robmrobm Posts: 1,068member
    FFS - not this fly by troll crap again.
    bugger off
  • Reply 5 of 45
    lostkiwilostkiwi Posts: 601member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by RobM View Post



    Couldn't agree more.

    Here in NZ many high schools are using Goog Classroom. While it's kinda ok, it still falls way short.

    Promoted and serviced by ex MS techs busy pushing Chromebooks and servicing the school intranet.

    To be fair Goog have made massive inroads into education and it's not all bad - but geez it could be so much better.



    Cracks me up - kids have Chromebooks shoved down their throat because of price and many of the teachers are running around with MBP or Airs having to run Chrome browser. err apart from odd "freethinker" with a Samsung phone and running either WIndows or a Linux distro on their laptop.



    It ain't right



    Yeah there is a real overlap in the I.T. department Fandroids I deal with - the vast majority are massively invested in the whole Microsoft thing and now that there is nothing to cheer about there, they latch onto Android with the fervour of a drowning man.

     

    Basically they are the Anyone But Apple crowd.

  • Reply 6 of 45
    robmrobm Posts: 1,068member
    lostkiwi wrote: »

    Yeah there is a real overlap in the I.T. department Fandroids I deal with - the vast majority are massively invested in the whole Microsoft thing and now that there is nothing to cheer about there, they latch onto Android with the fervour of a drowning man.

    Basically they are the Anyone But Apple crowd.

    qft
    But they're in there with the contracts.
    Sad that many school principals and their it staff are being lead by the nose - even sadder they don't know any different.
    Years of MS indoctrination to overcome.
  • Reply 7 of 45
    lostkiwilostkiwi Posts: 601member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by RobM View Post





    qft

    But they're in there with the contracts.

    Sad that many school principals and their it staff are being lead by the nose - even sadder they don't know any different.

    Years of MS indoctrination to overcome.



    True, that.

     

    I'm sure Hekia has a firm opinion on the matter... and that opinion will be well thought out & based on her years of experience as a professional educator. 

    /s

  • Reply 8 of 45
    Sounds very much along the lines of the system in use for years now at the Dutch "Zuyderzee College". Not only is their educational material used on the Apple platforms, the entire backend, administration and student progression monitoring is done on Apple too. Most importantly, the interfaces developed are entirely Apple inspired, intuitive, and nothing like the alpha numerical garbage on the Windoze side of things. The Zuyderzee College has their own team of Apple devs and engineers to make it work and develop things further. They are the trail blazers for Apple adoption in Dutch education.

    Their story can be read here (in Dutch):
    https://www.apple.com/nl/education/real-stories/zuyderzee/
  • Reply 9 of 45
    ncoderncoder Posts: 2member
    How about partnering with the guys at iDoceo?
    We've been using it at our school for the last two years and there is nothing like it in the app store.
    It can be downloaded right now and they will not have to wait until 2016...
  • Reply 10 of 45
    ncoderncoder Posts: 2member

    We've been working with iDoceo for iPad at our school (in UK) for the last two years. It puts Excel spreadsheets to shame

  • Reply 11 of 45
    inklinginkling Posts: 731member
    I hope these teacher apps are not as terrible as the set of apps that Apple/IBM have created for nursing staff. That set seems to assume that nurses face the same issues as sales managers, issues that can be best solved by to-do lists.

    Nurses need tools that can help them work faster, not ones that overwhelm them with how much they have to do. A staff-to-staff communication tool, always with nurses, would save time. Time is what they need not long lists, pointless priority lists, and more intrusions/tracking from nursing administrators.
  • Reply 12 of 45
    I lived near the Coppell ISD and had coworkers whose kids attended school in the district. They are a pretty forward thinking ISD and have some of the top schools in the state of Texas. Hopefully this works out enough for this Apple-IBM partnership to branch out and start helping schools achieve greater success in this country.
  • Reply 13 of 45
    I had a fight awhile back with my kids school over Gmail and Google Drive. Students were creating accounts (as directed by teachers) to use without even asking parents permission. Last thing I want is my kids to start getting data mined from grade school. Even worse, some kids had their account for years and were using it as their actual personal account and using their real names (or partial real names). Way to get the kids early, Google.

    After much complaining and discussions with other parents and the school they changed their policy. They still use Gmail and Google Drive, but now the teachers have a set of Gmail accounts for each class, with a unique Gmail ID to identify the class/teacher. Student Gmail accounts are the master teacher ID plus a two digit number.

    So for my daughter the teacher Gmail account might be: [email protected] and my daughters Gmail account would be: [email protected] At the end of the year the contents of each account are deleted and next year a different student would end up with the the same gmail account my daughter had.

    The student accounts have restrictions on them so they can only send/receive to other students in the same class or their teacher. This way they don't use school accounts for personal stuff. Funny thing is on Googles own page about restrictions they use this example of students/faculty. Schools are just too lazy, it seems, to think before implementing.
  • Reply 14 of 45
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by AppeX View Post



    Bring that to a true real full computer like the Mac, not the iOS toy.



    Please. Back in the mid-80s, they used to call the Mac a toy.

  • Reply 15 of 45
    paxmanpaxman Posts: 4,603member
    I am all for Apple technology in schools but I have seen it first hand being used so ineffectively it hurts. To improve education however, technology is just a tiny piece of the puzzle. It is interesting to look at how Finland runs their school system and the results they achieve. Finland's school system has consistently ranked at the very top internationally. Some interesting facts:


    [LIST]
    [*] Finnish children don't start school until they are 7.
    [*] Compared with other systems, they rarely take exams or do homework until they are well into their teens.
    [*] The children are not measured at all for the first six years of their education.
    [*] There is only one mandatory standardized test in Finland, taken when children are 16.
    [*] All children, clever or not, are taught in the same classrooms.
    [*] Finland spends around 30 percent less per student than the United States.
    [*] 30 percent of children receive extra help during their first nine years of school.
    [*] 66 percent of students go to college. The highest rate in Europe.
    [*] The difference between weakest and strongest students is the smallest in the World.
    [*] Science classes are capped at 16 students so that they may perform practical experiments every class.
    [*] 93 percent of Finns graduate from high school. 17.5 percent higher than the US.
    [*] 43 percent of Finnish high-school students go to vocational schools.
    [*] Elementary school students get 75 minutes of recess a day versus an average of 27 minutes in the US.
    [*] Teachers only spend 4 hours a day in the classroom, and take 2 hours a week for "professional development".
    [*] Finland has the same amount of teachers as New York City, but far fewer students. 600,000 students compared to 1.1 million in NYC.
    [*] The school system is 100% state funded.
    [*] All teachers in Finland must have a masters degree, which is fully subsidized.
    [*] The national curriculum is only broad guidelines.
    [*] Teachers are selected from the top 10% of graduates.
    [*] In 2010, 6,600 applicants vied for 660 primary school training slots
    [*] The average starting salary for a Finnish teacher was $29,000 in 2008, compared with $36,000 in the United States. However, high school teachers with 15 years of experience make 102 percent of what other college graduates make. In the US, this figure is 62%.
    [*] There is no merit pay for teachers.
    [*] Teachers are effectively given the same status as doctors and lawyers
    [*] In an international standardized measurement in 2001, Finnish children came top or very close to the top for science, reading and mathematics. It's consistently come top or very near every time since.
    [*] Despite the differences between Finland and the US, it easily beats countries with a similar demographic. Neighbor Norway, of a similar size and featuring a similar homogeneous culture, follows the same same strategies as the USA and achieves similar rankings in international studies.
    [/LIST]
  • Reply 16 of 45
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 31,185member
    paxman wrote: »
    I am all for Apple technology in schools but I have seen it first hand being used so ineffectively it hurts. To improve education however, technology is just a tiny piece of the puzzle. It is interesting to look at how Finland runs their school system and the results they achieve. Finland's school system has consistently ranked at the very top internationally. Some interesting facts:

    • Finnish children don't start school until they are 7.
    • Compared with other systems, they rarely take exams or do homework until they are well into their teens.
    • The children are not measured at all for the first six years of their education.
    • There is only one mandatory standardized test in Finland, taken when children are 16.
    • All children, clever or not, are taught in the same classrooms.
    • Finland spends around 30 percent less per student than the United States.
    • 30 percent of children receive extra help during their first nine years of school.
    • 66 percent of students go to college. The highest rate in Europe.
    • The difference between weakest and strongest students is the smallest in the World.
    • Science classes are capped at 16 students so that they may perform practical experiments every class.
    • 93 percent of Finns graduate from high school. 17.5 percent higher than the US.
    • 43 percent of Finnish high-school students go to vocational schools.
    • Elementary school students get 75 minutes of recess a day versus an average of 27 minutes in the US.
    • Teachers only spend 4 hours a day in the classroom, and take 2 hours a week for "professional development".
    • Finland has the same amount of teachers as New York City, but far fewer students. 600,000 students compared to 1.1 million in NYC.
    • The school system is 100% state funded.
    • All teachers in Finland must have a masters degree, which is fully subsidized.
    • The national curriculum is only broad guidelines.
    • Teachers are selected from the top 10% of graduates.
    • In 2010, 6,600 applicants vied for 660 primary school training slots
    • The average starting salary for a Finnish teacher was $29,000 in 2008, compared with $36,000 in the United States. However, high school teachers with 15 years of experience make 102 percent of what other college graduates make. In the US, this figure is 62%.
    • There is no merit pay for teachers.
    • Teachers are effectively given the same status as doctors and lawyers
    • In an international standardized measurement in 2001, Finnish children came top or very close to the top for science, reading and mathematics. It's consistently come top or very near every time since.
    • Despite the differences between Finland and the US, it easily beats countries with a similar demographic. Neighbor Norway, of a similar size and featuring a similar homogeneous culture, follows the same same strategies as the USA and achieves similar rankings in international studies.

    Yes, but the population of Finland is about the same size as the Dugger Family and just as diverse.

    The U.S. population is is a riot of cultural differences and in my opinion public schools are a factory mentality solution to what should instead be individualized, especially since the advent of the personal computer enables self-study at an individualized rate.
  • Reply 17 of 45
    lostkiwilostkiwi Posts: 601member
    Yes, but the population of Finland is about the same size as the Dugger Family and just as diverse.

    The U.S. population is is a riot of cultural differences and in my opinion public schools are a factory mentality solution to what should instead be individualized, especially since the advent of the personal computer enables self-study at an individualized rate.

    With respect, I think you missed his very last point. If Norway follows the American way and gets similar crappy results - with a nearly identical population to Finland - it stands to reason that the differentiating factor is the Finnish system.
    I do wonder how the Finnish system would work in multicultural enviroments. NZ has one of the most diverse cities in the world and is relatively small. It would be a good test.
  • Reply 18 of 45
    robmrobm Posts: 1,068member
    IMNSHO - one of the biggest factors in achieving a successful education program is the teacher to student ratio.

    Smaller classes allow good teachers to operate more effectively. Its not rocket science.
  • Reply 19 of 45
    paxmanpaxman Posts: 4,603member
    lostkiwi wrote: »
    With respect, I think you missed his very last point. If Norway follows the American way and gets similar crappy results - with a nearly identical population to Finland - it stands to reason that the differentiating factor is the Finnish system.
    I do wonder how the Finnish system would work in multicultural enviroments. NZ has one of the most diverse cities in the world and is relatively small. It would be a good test.
    First of all must come the realization that education the way it is run now does not work particularly well. Secondly must come the willingness to try something new. If you go through each point and think about it you realize that this so fundamentally different to the more common Western way that it couldn't have happened overnight. In fact, it was about 40 years ago that Finland decided the education system needed to be overhauled, or in Apple speak, disrupted, or better still, re-imagined. In fact the Fins are at it again doing away with subject based teaching. It is very controversial even in Finland but teachers who have been re-trained say they can never go back. I am not too familiar with it but I think instead of 'subject', the learning experience is centred around 'situations'. A class may be about a situation such as running a shop, or starting a new business, each scenario obviously requiring knowledge and understanding in a range of different areas. I believe the driving though is to make education more relevant to real life.
  • Reply 20 of 45
    lostkiwilostkiwi Posts: 601member
    paxman wrote: »
    First of all must come the realization that education the way it is run now does not work particularly well. Secondly must come the willingness to try something new. If you go through each point and think about it you realize that this so fundamentally different to the more common Western way that it couldn't have happened overnight. In fact, it was about 40 years ago that Finland decided the education system needed to be overhauled, or in Apple speak, disrupted, or better still, re-imagined. In fact the Fins are at it again doing away with subject based teaching. It is very controversial even in Finland but teachers who have been re-trained say they can never go back. I am not too familiar with it but I think instead of 'subject', the learning experience is centred around 'situations'. A class may be about a situation such as running a shop, or starting a new business, each scenario obviously requiring knowledge and understanding in a range of different areas. I believe the driving though is to make education more relevant to real life.

    Thanks for the great reply. It certainly sounds very intriguing. I'm not sure how I feel about that new subject based teaching, but the whole Finnish system certainly looks alot better than we have now.

    Of course I have yet to research this thoroughly.

    The problem we have in New Zealand is for some reason politicians seem to think they are experts in education & implement stupid, shortsighted and underfunded systems.

    This is probably not just a New Zealand problem of course.
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