Apple Events: What is New in Education and Everyone Can Code

Live blog—started at 09:14 on 01/11/16

Looking forward to hearing from Claire Smith, part of the UK Apple Education team, who is introducing the event. Our venue is the lovely meeting room in Hotel du Vin Brighton; drenched in autumn light, with one of the best chandeliers in town made entirely from wine glasses.

Claire introduces the event. 09:35 - What's New for Education 09:45 - New collaboration features in iWork 10.15 - iOS10 10.20 - Accessibility with iOS 10 10.35 - Break 10.50 - Deployment 11:05 - Classroom app 11:15 - Apple School Manager 11:30 - Apple Classroom app live demo 11:50 - Teacher Resources

09:35 - What’s New for Education

Three core pilers of Apple technology - Accessible; Relevant; Personal. Talks about the introduction of iOS 9.3 - powerful addition to the education offering.

  • Includes: Apple School Manager and the classroom app
    • Enabled shared iPad for students
    • Classroom app for iPad - like a teaching assistant and classroom control application
    • Apple School Manager
    • Managed Apple IDs (aka bulk Apple IDs at institutional level).

Marc Bernard - 09:45 - New collaboration features in iWork—` Components of iWork:

  • Pages
  • Numbers
  • Keynote

Lara (Havord) and Marc demonstrate the collaborative functions - scenario is that they went on a field trip to the Tower of London and they want to collaborate on the materials in order to create a school trip report and presentation.

The Wi-Fi at the venue is not working, I am fairly impressed that they are Bluetoothing directly to the AppleTV. That is thinking on your feet.

You just need to get the link to the other person in order to start collaborating in iWork - this could be via iCloud email, iMessage, airdrop or Showbie app. Lara and Marc show how two people can simultaneously work one document. The live changes are shown in the original document real-time if the app is open. The add people function is found under the more option […] on the top-right hand side of the app. Audience Q: What is the limit for the number of collaborators? They will come back to that, but it sounds like they haven’t tested the limit. Answer to the limit question - 100 people maximum! Demonstrate the use of app multitasking in order to use Safari look up some information to enrich their presentation. They are now working Keynote to build a joint presentation for their field trip. Marc then demonstrates how to use Apple maps to find some information about the Tower of London. In the top-right corner there is an (i) symbol which will provide options, such as adding directions to a map. However in the example, Marc uses Apple maps to load a satellite view. He uses the 3D flyover mode and then takes some screenshots in order to produce some more images for their joint presentation. Marc now wants to add some media rich content to the presentation. They are now demonstrating the use of iMovie app to create a short video using photos taken during their hypothetical field trip to the Tower of London. Lara arranges the photos on the timeline taking advantage of the Ken Burns effect and then records a voiceover and exports the project. They pop back into the collaborative Keynote project and then place the movie from the media browser.

Final function - Keynote live

Generates a link and it will publish the presentation to the Internet and then you can control the presentation from the iPad. In theory with stable Wi-Fi this could be used for wireless presentation from an iPad. Definitely worth a test in a classroom.

10.15 - iOS10 and 10.20 - Accessibility with iOS 10

Steve - works in teacher training and also in universities. Asks us to think about how we might use the functionality in our own teaching contexts. Steve is going to start by talking about Notes as the example app. Does multitasking actually help? For the browser I would say yes.

Safari function revelation as a result of multitasking!!

Drag a tab off the safari browser to the right-hand side and then get split screen! Perfect for comparisons between sources, e.g. you could use this for the Guardian vs. the Daily Mail. OpenDyslexic keyboard can be added as an additional keyboard, I have also added the My Stylus app as a supplemental keyboard to enable handwriting as a keyboard. This was a tip from Craig Wakefield! Here is how to add a supplemental keyboard: Also folks often miss the new drawing tools in the Notes app which can be used for classroom notes and for quick annotations.


Talks about how useful the zoom tool can be for teaching. SEE Settings > General > Zoom. A double-tap with three fingers will bring it up and a double-tap with three finger would dismiss it. The window can also be resized by pressing at the bottom of the zoom lens. Magnifier can be used nicely as a visualiser. When it is turned on a triple-click on the home button will then turn on the camera with enhanced magnification. It does have a freeze option, which is helpful if you are using it as a teaching visualiser.

The BIGGY: SEE Settings > Display Accommodations > Colour filters > turn on colour filters and then select the intensity and hue. This will CHANGE my life for reading and is helpful for both colour bling and dyslexic users. It is the colour overlay that we have all been looking for! Speech has added functions for correcting pronunciations. This is helpful when you use speech for reading out loud. I use this function a lot for reading out PDFs of academic papers and there are some technical words, which are frequently mispronounced so this will be helpful for correcting that. Demonstrates 

Switch Control - this is where the devices camera can be used in order to use the device. The camera looks for your head tilting the the left or right, this can be used to control on the on-screen functions.

Guided access can be used to focus attention, lock to a specific app and make parts of the screen inaccessible. See General > Accessibility > Guided Access. This will allow you to kiosk to a single app and then control which functions are available within the app.

10.50 - Deployment

Luke and Stewart - Systems Engineers - Introduce New Learning Environments The message: “Making it easier for schools to put devices in the hands of students.” An audience member mentioned use of Meraki, so they will come back to that. 9.3 signifies a shift towards the addition of more educational functionality.

  • Classroom app
  • Shared iPad
  • Apple School manager
    • Managed IDs inside apple manager

Shared iPad feature:

Gives you a personalised experience on a shared iPad. Login with an AppleID and then their personal information is synchronised back up to the cloud. [Audience point: provided they remember their passwords - will come back to this as it can be easier than AppleID]. Takeaway from today: taking control of a group of devices and waking them all up simultaneously. Control activity on the devices. Apple School manager: allows for the creation of bulk AppleID on behalf of students. Can supply up to 100,000 IDs at one time. Best things about shared iPad:

  • Photo ID lets students find their iPad fast
  • Log in with Managed Apple IDs
  • Simplified login for younger students
  • Data stored in the cloud and cached on device
  •  You decide the number of students for each iPad (e.g. if you allow 6 students, then the 7th student will bump off the oldest profile. The oldest profile will be backed up to the managed iCloud account).

Can use Classroom app to manage exams and lock down to only specific application and disallow multitasking. You can simultaneously lock all devices at a given point.

Classroom app key functions:

  • Launch and lock apps
  • See what your students see
  • Create groups of students
  • Share student work over AirPlay
  • Reset forgotten passwords

As long as the device is enrolled in the MDM then it can be used with Classroom - it will depend on configuration planning. You can put the devices into classes - e.g. if you only have one set of iPads for the school then you might find that putting the iPads into a single class. Assign functionality: Scenario - walk into the classroom and pick up an iPad and immediately sign-in. Must take the lest amount of time possible. The assign feature throws up the name and face of the student who used the iPad last so that they can return to using that iPad that they already have their data on them. It is fine for the student to use a different iPad, but it will be more seamless for the student to return to the iPad that they had already used. Create groups of students - so students can be assigned to separate tasks in the room on the devices. Multiple instructors can have access to the classroom and can manage the students. Using airplay in conjunction with the classroom app will allow you to share a student’s work to the classroom display system. The Classroom app is:

  • Available for free in the App Store
  • Configure and deploy with MDM

Apple School Manager

“Think of it as the hub for your deployment from an administrative perspective”. It sits alongside MDM.

  • If it is admin (buying stuff, managing IDs) it is Apple School Manager
  • If it is to do with device configuration then it is your MDM.

Important question: how do I get all of my roster information into Apple School Manager. There is a function coming soon that will allow direct plugin to data in systems like capita. At the moment this is facilitated by CSV import. You need to setup an SFTP connection as well. - More information needed on this. Photo information is held by the MDMs, not by Apple School Manager. If you are using a device enrolment programme you can bring all of the devices and apps purchased in the institution can be brought into Apple School Manager. From now on if you want to buy Apps and Books in bulk you will use Apple School Manager. iTunesU is going to become more integrated within Apple School Manager - this is going to become more like a VLE. With materials and grades displayed together and the ability to enrol students in classes. More points about Apple School Manager:

  • Designed for education
  • Created in bulk through Apple School manager
  • Managed by schools and districts
  • Supports multiple roles

Have flexibility in your AppleID naming conventions. So for example username could be used, e.g. in my case fjm15@myschool Roles and privileges Content manager role: don’t see anything to do with people or students, but you could buy books and apps. Essentially there is a role for any level of access you might need.

New Management Features

  • Show and hide apps (you can hide things like photos app and iMessage)
  • Home screen layout (you can define folders and layout of apps).
  • Lost mode (e.g. if found then return to…)
  • Additional restrictions (notification settings can be restricted so that students aren’t dinged by badges and pop-ups encouraging them to update).

Hands-on classroom demonstration

When you launch the classroom app then you are shown a list of classes so that you can pull up your student list/roster. Individual iPad versus Shared iPad This is where the Assign function comes in. When you press Assign the classroom app tells you how many devices are available in the room. Then you can assign the iPads to groups of students and then you can see which stage all the students are at in the room (little app icons are shown next to student names on the photo roster). Everyone selects their own passcode at first login. Demonstrates “open app” function so well all are taken into the teacher’s selected app. Then you can specify that the app is locked after opening - the students cannot exit the app. Even if you put the iPad to sleep then you wake up the device you are still locked into the app. If you do a hard reset then you will be removed from the controlled environment. Unlock, means that the students are released from the app but not automatically taken out of the app. Navigate options: iBooks, iTunesU and Safari The teacher can use the share button on the top-right of safari to automatically share a web page with the class, so this could be used to pre-cue the content. Also there is a mini view of all the iPad screens in the classroom app. While the teacher is reviewing the iPad screens then the blue bar (like AirPlay) is shown to indicate that the students’ activities are under review. If you press on an individual student from the “Screens” area then you can quickly AirPlay a student’s screen to the classroom display system. Groups could be used for assigning activities, but also for allowing exam exceptions if the devices were used in a controlled situation, this could also be locked into a specific app or web page. You can also enforce logout for students - so this triggers the synchronisation to iCloud process. If you are using Volume Purchase Programme - it will only consume one licence even though there multiple users on the iPad. Existing AppleIDs cannot be ingested into Apple School Manager.

11:50 - Teacher Resources

Links to these will be shared later - I’ll add the links here when I have them. Helpful series of Apple iBooks - new guides for using apps in education. These are available for iPads and for Macs. Part of a series of books under the “Apple teacher” heading in iBooks. ----12.00 - Discussion tables---- Swift Playgrounds certainly isn’t Android app inventor - it is a nice iPad app. For HE, in terms of language learning, you need something that is device agnostic and doesn’t involve installing bulky SDKs (aka Xcode) for it to be scalable in a higher education setting I feel. So to summarise, I like Swift as a language and I like Swift Playgrounds as an individual activity, but something more like Code Academy in the web browser would be more useful for teaching at HE level.


An interesting day and I learned quite a bit. Perhaps a Swift specific #appswap crossover with staff code club is on the horizon!

Fiona MacNeill

Fiona MacNeill

Learning Consultant & UX Designer

Passionate about creating inclusive and accessible experiences, tools, and services for learning and doing.