Apple’s Schoolwork app is coming to Canadian teachers today.
Apple announced the new educational software tool earlier this year as part of the company’s big push into education. Schoolwork is a free app that allows teachers to easily create and post assignments and announcements in almost any form. Schoolwork supports web links, PDFs, documents and specific in-app activities.
Students will also benefit from Schoolwork. The app is an organizational tool students can use to keep track of assignments and handouts.
Additionally, teachers can get a better look at how individual students are doing. Schoolwork provides a snapshot of class performance, but also allows teachers to look at students’ individual performance.
Finally, the Schoolwork app works with Classroom, a teaching assistant that gives educators more control over student devices. Classroom allows teachers to check in on students by viewing their screens, share documents and reset passwords. Classroom is also available on Mac.
Will privacy put Apple ahead?
One of the big parts of Apple’s system is privacy. The California-based company says privacy and security features are built in to Schoolwork. Schools get to create, own and control the accounts used by their students. Additionally, schools get to decide if and when student information is shared.
The privacy push sets Apple up against the other big competitor in education — Google. While the search giant has long made it’s money off data and advertising, Google doesn’t do so with education. Instead, the company makes money by charging schools device management fees. Privacy fears remain however, especially considering that students can transfer data to personal accounts once they’re old enough.
The search giant is pushing its education software as well, with new updates and hardware out yesterday for Google Classroom. Now, parents have more control over student devices and can set ‘off hours’ when students can’t access the web browser or apps.
Furthermore, Google Classroom allows teachers to lock students into quizzes so they can’t browse the internet and search for answers.
Additionally, Acer launched the Chromebook Tab 10, an iPad competitor and the world’s first Chrome OS tablet, in March. The device also has stylus support and comes with a Wacom stylus built in, akin to the stylus featured in Samsung’s Galaxy Note series.