Apple improves learning tools, brings Classroom app to Mac
What Apple said
“For more than 40 years, Apple has worked alongside educators and made products that enhance learning for every student.”
“To support schools in getting the most from Apple products, we developed professional learning as an essential part of our education offering. The new Apple Teacher Portfolio helps build educators’ confidence in reimagining their lessons and recognizes them for the great work they do every day. After this unprecedented year, we want to continue to inspire every educator as much as they inspire us.”
What is Apple Teacher Portfolio?
Apple Teacher Portfolio is a new self-paced professional learning offering designed to help educators bring creativity to lessons in the classroom or online.
It consists of a self-paced professional development platform for teachers which provides some form of credit in the form of a new “recognition badge”
The scheme aims to teach teachers exploit Apple tech to plan useful and engaging lessons. It provides 21 templates and lesson ideas inspired by the Everyone Can Create project guides, and makes use of apps like Keynote, GarageBand, and iMovie. It also lets teachers create lesson portfolios.
“Apple Teacher Portfolio gives districts a platform to ask the right questions and help teachers reflect on their work in meaningful ways,” said Felecity Treptow, technology integration specialist at D.C. Everest Area School District in Wisconsin.
“A portfolio is a way of showing pride in what you’ve learned or created. My very first educator portfolio still sits on my shelf at home, and I love looking back at it as an important chapter of my life’s work. I’m excited to give this tool to teachers across our district, so they too can be proud of the work they create throughout their career, and to see their learning journey through tangible artifacts.”
How Apple has updated its Everyone Can Create curriculum
The Drawing guide has been updated to include motion graphics and animation in Keynote, while Photos now covers the creation of animated GIFs using Keynote, and the Camera and Photos apps. The Video guide will explore creating short films using a green screen and other special effects, and Music adds new podcasting features using GarageBand.
According to research from Gallup, the majority of teachers report that students learn best when they’re encouraged to express what they know creatively.
Apple designed the Everyone Can Create curriculum to make it fun and easy for teachers to integrate drawing, music, filmmaking, or photography into their existing lesson plans for any subject. Over 5,000 K-12 institutions worldwide are using the Everyone Can Create curriculum.
How Apple has updated Schoolwork and Classroom
New features for Schoolwork include progress data and time spent on documents, videos, and links assigned in Schoolwork.
New updates coming to the app will give teachers the option to share Schoolwork projects with colleagues, by exporting assignments created in the app. Projects can be imported back into Schoolwork or to other platforms.
For the first time, the Classroom app will support learning beyond the walls of a school as teachers will be able to invite remote students to join a Classroom session.
While connected, the same Classroom features that teachers are familiar with will enable them to guide students to specific apps, view their screen, and see a summary of their engagement. Apple designed this feature with student privacy in mind.
Classroom comes to Mac
Classroom has been rebuilt using Mac Catalyst, providing a seamless experience on iPad and the Mac, including those powered by M1, Apple’s first chip designed specifically for the Mac. A refreshed design and enhanced smart groups give teachers a snapshot of students’ status at a glance, including whether they’re online, joining locally or remotely, using iPad or Mac, or whether a device has a depleted battery. All of this information is easy to access and read to help teachers maximize learning time.
Apple Teacher Portfolio is available today through the Apple Teacher Learning Center. The Everyone Can Create guides are updated and available as a free download on Apple Books. New versions of both Schoolwork and Classroom are available in beta now through AppleSeed for IT.