Apple took us to school with iPad at special event demonstration

Posted:
in iPad edited March 2018
Though Apple's event appeared to end with the conclusion of the keynote, there was still much more in store for those in attendance. We got an inside look at Apple's hands-on experience labs where they demoed how to integrate iPads, Garageband, and Clips into a teaching curriculum.




After Tim Cook left the stage, attendees followed their class schedules into several different classrooms within Lane Tech.

Shortly after, the school bell rang and "class" started. Each room had an instructor and a bevy of "teaching assistants" around the room and on the tables were several new 9.7" iPads, to be used during the lesson.

The time was split into three different classes: math, history, and coding. During each segment, the instructor demoed how he was using the Classroom app to launch apps on our tablets, and lock us into them.

During the math class, we followed along as the instructor explained the Fibonacci sequence (1,1,2,3,5,8,...), and then gave us the assignment to create a short poem. The syllables of each verse were to match with the corresponding number within the Fibonacci sequence. We then used the Clips app to record our poem using images, Live Text, new Posters, and the front-facing camera.

The goal was clearly to show how video, Clips, and the iPad could be brought into a math class to make the class more engaging. It certainly worked as we all tried to one-up one another in our video production skills.

After math, we started history class. Here, we had to make a presentation, actually the same JFK presentation demoed during the keynote, and were tasked with creating our own audio track and voiceover using GarageBand. We used the new space Live Loops added in the latest update to create an eerie background track, that we then recorded the famed JFK quote. It certainly made the otherwise standard keynote presentation more impressive.

Lastly, we participated in coding class. We went through a few basics inside of Swift Playgrounds before graduating to the Meebot programmable robot. Opening the Meebot playground within the app, we were able to program a series of dance moves in a loop. An assistant helped us connect the robot to our iPad and run our code. It turned into a pretty exciting bit of robot dance battling, all the while learning to code.

It was impressive to see the practical application of Apple's efforts, and was certainly entertaining enough for a room of adults. At the same time, how many times can your math teacher ask you to create a video poem throughout the year? It will certainly be interesting to see the other ways teachers in all subjects will be able to take advantage of this platform, and the new features being launched with ClassKit.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 12
    cgWerkscgWerks Posts: 2,314member
    Interesting, I suppose. But any one of us could have come up with something like that yesterday afternoon. Yes, hopefully the teachers will do better.... but none of this seems all that groundbreaking. Maybe you did have to be there?
    williamlondon
  • Reply 2 of 12
    d_2d_2 Posts: 58member
    Groundbreaking vs. the standard, IMO, because it sounds a whole lot more educational and engaging than what my kids use their school’s chromebooks for — checking grades, writing a few docs to submit, and reading docs from the teacher or other students — that’s it :/
    edited March 2018 watto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 12
    d_2 said:
    Groundbreaking vs. the standard, IMO, because it sounds a whole lot more educational and engaging than what my kids use their school’s chromebooks for — checking grades, writing a few docs to submit, and reading docs from the teacher or other students — that’s it :/
    Well, you know this is arguably what school is all about: writing lots of essays, reading docs, comments, collaborating on these documents. 

    The video poem example is just embarrassing: it demonstrates that the creators of ClassKit had to come up with far-fetched application that takes a ton of work of code and will be used exactly once.

    Moreover, ClassKit applications will only work on Apple devices. With all due respect: why would educational content creators want to lock themselves into a platform that is used by a minority of students in the country and that doesn't work at all in the browser and other devices? School need simple but effective tools - not some boutique development framework that seems mainly useful for creating interactive applications for museums - where there are only a few interactive apps which should look glossy and polished and are used by visitors only once.


    cgWerkswatto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 12
    sflagelsflagel Posts: 593member
    Sounds like an interesting hour to learn how to apply learning (the Fibonacci sequence) to create something with it. I am not sure if any of these tools will actually get children to learn more or faster. The lab workflow seems more like a fun hour than a learning hour. But the fact that people are thinking about how technology could to change the way children learn (and focus on creativity which is the only thing left for humans to do in the future...), is already a good step; even if the showcased application are not there yet.
    edited March 2018 watto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 12
    brakkenbrakken Posts: 687member
    Does anyone else think that a commercial company providing great educational experiences is sick? As in ill, not healthy, and completely wrong? How is it that a tech company is improving education? Why the hell isn't the Department of Education telling tech companies what they must do to improve educational standards?? Apple rocks.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 12
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 5,267member
    Apple did a good job here -- but really all they did was get a foot in the door.  They aren't inside yet.   Their offering is simply too limited.  An article from CNBC said it well:
    "Venture capitalist Gene Munster said iPad is strongest in grades kindergarten through fifth grade while Chromebooks are more popular among older students in middle and high school, when activities like essays and spreadsheets come into play."

    He's right!  iPads are great for games and creative type work.  But they simply aren't all that good at so called serious work like "essays and spreadsheets".   Sure, they have MacBooks to do that "serious" stuff -- but no school anywhere is going to pay $1k-$2K for a MacBook when they can get a Chromebook that does the job equally well (or even better!) for 1/10th the cost.  (The "Better" comes from the fact that the ChromeBook comes with a packaged set of apps that make it highly functional in the educational enviironment.)

    Apple has three choices if they truely want to be a serious contender in the education market:
    1)  Add a cursor to the iPad so it can ALSO perform the functions of a laptop efficiently
    2)  Produce a sub $500 MacBook
    3)  Produce a $300 "SafariBook"

    Sorry Apple!   Games and creative works are great -- but that will get you a distant "also ran" ("yeh, we got a few iPads laying around for stuff like that -- but Chromebooks are the mainstay").

    My grandson is probably a good example:   He attends 5th grade in wealthy, highly rated school district where he uses a Chromebook in school and accesses Google Classroom and Google Suite at night on his mom's Windows laptop to do his homework.  His school did however, use iPads to have them produce a short video using Clips -- but curiously, that mini-class wasn't taught by a teacher but by a Librarian.  In other words, Apple & iPads are outside of the mainstream even there...


  • Reply 7 of 12
    iPads are great for games and creative type work.  But they simply aren't all that good at so called serious work like "essays and spreadsheets"
    Out of date generalization. You can buy professional level manuscript and screenplay apps for iPad, so the level of writing that you're going to be doing in middle school and high school is easily supported. As for spreadsheets, that's an '80s software technology. There's nothing special about it. MS, Google, and Apple all have spreadsheet apps that would work just fine in iOS for middle school and high school, and I'm sure there are other options from smaller companies as well.
  • Reply 8 of 12
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 5,267member
    iPads are great for games and creative type work.  But they simply aren't all that good at so called serious work like "essays and spreadsheets"
    Out of date generalization. You can buy professional level manuscript and screenplay apps for iPad, so the level of writing that you're going to be doing in middle school and high school is easily supported. As for spreadsheets, that's an '80s software technology. There's nothing special about it. MS, Google, and Apple all have spreadsheet apps that would work just fine in iOS for middle school and high school, and I'm sure there are other options from smaller companies as well.
    Yes, the software does exist -- but lack of hardware support (a cursor) makes it less than optimal to use.  Actually, it makes it a pain in the ass to use.
    cgWerks
  • Reply 9 of 12
    cgWerkscgWerks Posts: 2,314member
    bigmushroom said:
    The video poem example is just embarrassing: it demonstrates that the creators of ClassKit had to come up with far-fetched application that takes a ton of work of code and will be used exactly once. 
    Yea, it's well and good to come up with creative examples of teaching one thing via another, or adding some 'fun,' but fundamentally, education methods have to change and adding some technology to the mix isn't going to help all that much.

    We were fortunate to have a public Montessori option-school where we used to live when my son started school. While IMO, there are +/- to Montessori, some of the concepts are just light-years ahead of the traditional classroom, that adding tech isn't going to fix.

    Years ago, I wired some schools for Internet when money was being poured into that. But, I can't tell you how many times I've seen classrooms all wired up with a computer that hardly gets used. I'm sure they get used more now, but where the money needs to be put, is in educating teachers on better teaching methods and how to incorporate the technology, as well as an overhaul of the whole system in the first place.

    GeorgeBMac said:
    Yes, the software does exist -- but lack of hardware support (a cursor) makes it less than optimal to use.  Actually, it makes it a pain in the ass to use.
    Yep, it's all about the UI. What makes iOS's UI shine in some contexts is it's Achilles' heel in this one.
    GeorgeBMac
  • Reply 10 of 12
    Don47Don47 Posts: 3member
    A cursor - boy is that old school. My Granddaughter has a school iPad she does math on. She puts the blunt end of a pen anywhere on the screen and begins writing in any color she wants. Oh, needs to move the information, change the tool, circle it and move it on the screen. This was for a Hight School Pre-Calculas class. All the things I used to teach using paper and pencil, she now does on the iPad.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 12
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 5,267member
    Don47 said:
    A cursor - boy is that old school. My Granddaughter has a school iPad she does math on. She puts the blunt end of a pen anywhere on the screen and begins writing in any color she wants. Oh, needs to move the information, change the tool, circle it and move it on the screen. This was for a Hight School Pre-Calculas class. All the things I used to teach using paper and pencil, she now does on the iPad.
    Yeh, the touch screen interface works great -- for some things.
    For others, it stinks.

    Apple has a chance to give us the best of both based on our needs of the moment.  It's not a matter of IF, but WHEN.
    cgWerks
  • Reply 12 of 12
    cgWerkscgWerks Posts: 2,314member
    Don47 said:
    A cursor - boy is that old school. My Granddaughter has a school iPad she does math on. She puts the blunt end of a pen anywhere on the screen and begins writing in any color she wants. Oh, needs to move the information, change the tool, circle it and move it on the screen. This was for a Hight School Pre-Calculas class. All the things I used to teach using paper and pencil, she now does on the iPad.
    The argument isn't that the touch interface is bad, or even much better for some things. The argument is that the touch interface is really, really bad for some thing... some of which a lot of us (including students) have to do a lot of, daily.
    canukstormGeorgeBMac
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