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iOS 9.3 – New Features for Students, Teachers and Schools

01/14/2016

iOS 9.3 – New Features for Students, Teachers and Schools

As BYOD becomes more prominent in schools, and tablet use in the classroom continues to rise, Apple has recognised the growing trend and addressed it with a new suite of changes aimed at making iPad use in the classroom as simple as can possibly be. Beta testing in iOS9.3 started just yesterday, and the roundup includes some truly fabulous tools.

 

Firstly, there is a new feature called “Shared iPad”, that allows multiple students to use the same device, yet log in to a personal ID that retains all their customised settings, data, apps, and even where they left off in their work when they logged out last time. A simplified version with a 4 digit pin will be offered for younger students.

 

Secondly, the new Classroom app will allow teachers to keep track of where each student is up to with their work and help guide them through it. Textbooks, apps and websites can be launched and opened on the same page on all student devices at once. The same tools can also be locked down to prevent distraction. In addition, if you have Apple TV hooked up to your classroom TV, students’ work can be projected up onto the big screen.

 

Two other features are designed to make the admin side of things far smoother than it has been in the past too (I hear a sigh of relief from many here lol). Apple School Manager and Managed Apple ID’s create a centralised one-stop-shop for admins to handle creating and managing Apple ID’s, distribute apps/textbooks and both build and deliver coursework.

 

With this new suite of changes, Apple is making a serious play for a very big, thus far not particularly well tapped market. Can they pull an IBM in tablet form? Time will tell but in the meanwhile, these changes are super cool.

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