Wow! I love this update for the iPad! This is incredible!
I have long been an advocate for iPads in the classroom and choosing iPads for 1:1 deployment in schools. With iOS 9.3, using iPads, teaching with iPads and managing iPads in the classroom is getting a whole lot easier and more powerful.
iOS 9.3 includes new features for education!
Some of the many educational features in iOS 9.3 include improvements for: shared iPads for students, a new Classroom App, improved Apple ID functions for students, an Apple School Manager, and even a feature called Night Shift, to limit the blue lighting that messes with students’ (and teachers’) sleep, when exposed to the blue lighting during usage before bed. iOS 9.3 is a great update for teachers and students.
The new Shared iPad feature is aimed at schools that cannot yet afford to go 1:1 with the iPad yet and must share iPads. I know many schools using iPads successfully in limited number, but hope to graduate to a 1:1 program. Now with the Shared iPad feature each student can use an individual Apple ID to log into any iPad in the classroom or in the school. (Just like students can on a Chromebook.) When the student logs in he or she will see of their content ready to go. Students can now go from classroom to classroom and log in and use the iPad stored in each room, if they don’t have their own personal device.
The new Apple School Manager allows IT, teachers, principals or whoever is in charge via a web-based control panel to easily create Apple IDs, create iTunes Coursea, and manage accounts in general for teachers and students alike. This new management service for the iPad is awesome! You can make volume purchases of books, apps and other content and distribute it quickly. You can also reset passwords, assign roles, check accounts, and more!
The new Classroom app will allow teachers to launch the same app on all student iPads at the same time. The teacher can then guide students through lessons and the app if needed and as needed. (A lot of teachers currently using Nearpod with the iPad like this feature on Nearpod, now you can do it on any app or program.)
iOS 9.3 also has Screen View that allows teachers to see what is on a student’s iPad whenever they wish to check. Boom!
These are great features.
Also included in iOS 9.3 is something called Night Shift which will help users, especially students, from being adversely affected by the blue light that electronic screens omit. This blue light can potentially affect users sleep, especially students, and now Night Shift will prevent this. Read this from Apple:
“A lot of waking hours went into thinking about sleep.
Many studies have shown that exposure to bright blue light in the evening can affect your circadian rhythms and make it harder to fall asleep. Night Shift uses your iOS device’s clock and geolocation to determine when it’s sunset in your location. Then it automatically shifts the colors in your display to the warmer end of the spectrum, making it easier on your eyes. In the morning, it returns the display to its regular settings. Pleasant dreams.”
Combine these features with the existing ability for teachers and students to create textbooks with iBooks Author (beautiful engaging, digital, enhanced, multi-touch books) that you can update with a click and push the updates out, and the powerful iTunes U for creating, grading, and managing engagin courses, and you have an incredible virtual classroom open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, to all of your students whether they are at school or not. Love it.
You like Chromebooks? Great! I wrote an article titled “The Best Chromebook is… an iPad” and I stand by that proclamation now more than ever. Over 30 Google Apps are usable on the iPad making the iPad the best Chromebook ever in addition to everything else it can do. Students can create so much more on an iPad, and they can do so much more offline. Many of the “pro Chromebook” comments on this particular article I wrote were something like… “Well, from an IT perspective, the Chromebook is easier to manage.” Gong! No longer. (And since when do we put student needs below ease of management? And if we do… why? Regardless, the point is now worthless with this update.) With iOS 9.3 the iPad is the best device for students. I am excited about this update. (Can you tell?!?)
Read more about this exciting update at: http://www.apple.com/education/preview/