Top of the class

Mac Format - - APPLE CORE -

While Ap­ple may have taken an early lead in get­ting its prod­ucts into schools, th­ese days it’s a much more com­pet­i­tive area. Both Google and Mi­crosoft have made strong ef­forts to push Ap­ple out and to re­place class­room iPads with Chrome­books and Sur­faces.

The low cost has been an ob­vi­ous fac­tor. Un­til re­cently, an iPad could cost sev­eral hun­dred pounds more than a Chrome­book, and didn’t come with a key­board which, for some teach­ers, made it less geared to­wards pro­duc­tiv­ity. And whereas Chrome­books and Sur­faces look like they be­long in a work en­vi­ron­ment, many stu­dents viewed iPads more as a de­vice for play­ing games.

But Ap­ple is fight­ing back. The new, af­ford­able iPad is a big step to­wards get­ting it into the class­room, and there are a range of af­ford­able third-party key­board cases that can be bought along­side it.

As an ex­tra in­cen­tive, Ap­ple also runs its Ap­ple Dis­tin­guished Ed­u­ca­tors (ADE) pro­gramme, which recog­nises teach­ers who use Ap­ple prod­ucts in in­no­va­tive ways to teach and im­prove ed­u­ca­tion.

And it of­fers an Ap­ple Teacher scheme as well. This is a free train­ing pro­gramme for teach­ers to help them learn how to use iPads and Macs in an ed­u­ca­tional en­vi­ron­ment, and gain skills that they can pass on to their stu­dents.

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