Apple introduced a slew of education-focused products today, during an event in Chicago.
The rumours of a new cheaper iPad can now be put to bed, as Apple has officially announced the existence of a refreshed 9.7-inch iPad with Apple Pencil support, making it the first entry-level modelled iPad to support Apple’s stylus, which until now, was reserved for use with the iPad Pro exclusively.
The Education focused iPad will retail for $329 USD and $299 USD for educators and students, a nice incentive and way of showing Apple is serious about making their tablet offerings more approachable for schools and educators. In Canada, the new iPad will retail for $429 CAD for the 32GB with Wi-Fi model and $599 CAD for the 32GB Wi-fi + cellular model. The Apple Pen in Canada is currently available for $129 CAD. The new iPad will feature Apple’s A10 Fusion ship, claiming upwards of a 10-hour battery life, with an LTE version available at launch.
Additionally, Apple took the time to announce that a new, third-party stylus from Logitech will be released for the iPad. The Logitech Crayon, priced at $49 USD will be significantly cheaper than Apple’s own Apple Pencil, which retails for $99 USD.
Logitech will offer the Logitech Crayon either alone, or in a bundle with an iPad case for $99 USD.
Software-wise, Apple today updated iWork, which now includes support for the Apple, which amongst other new features includes the brand-new Digitial Book Creation Tool, which allows educators to easily build a book and add in photos, illustrations and other media, making it a powerful tool for use inside a classroom environment. Pen support also means professionals and educators will now be able to use the iPad platform similarly to how they already grade and evaluate their students with more traditional means or without having to break the bank on an iPad Pro.
The classroom was a big part of Apple’s focus during the event — the company took the time to announce a new app called Schoolwork with support for the new iPad, giving teachers and educators the ability to manage, hand out digital assignments, assign due dates and mark work across a variety of projects. Apple promises the Schoolwork app will be similar to using a powerful email client, with options that allow the user to attach PDFs, links and other miscellaneous files while catering specifically to a classroom environment.
Apple is billing all their announcements under their new Everyone Can Create banner, with the new iPad as the central attraction, attributing and framing it as a Swiss-army knife for the classroom. The Everyone Can Create initiative hones in on areas such as music, video and photography, encouraging the use of apps such as Garageband with the hopes that students from a younger age, begin to immersive themselves with these powerful, content-creation tools.
Previews for Everyone Can Create is available starting today, with the Schoolwork app slated to launch later in June.
Apple really seems to be taking the philosophy of giving your teacher an apple to the next level with the introduction of the more affordable iPad with pen support.
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