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Apple 9.7-inch iPad 2018
Apple’s entry-level 9.7-inch iPad still costs $329 ($299 for schools) but it got a big boost to performance and support for the Apple Pencil.
Apple event in Chicago on March 27, 2018
The 2018 iPad 9.7-inch was unveiled at an event at Lane Tech College Prep High School in Chicago on March 27. While the focus of the event was on using iPads in education, the new iPad will be a welcome upgrade to many businesses that use the low-cost version of the tablet for kiosks, cash registers, customer service, employee data entry, and much more.
Specs for 9.7-inch iPad 2018
The specifications are solid at the price point, although it also has to compete with Google Chromebooks more than other tablets or even Windows 2-in-1s.
Features of 9.7-inch iPad 2018
For students, iPads may have the most appeal for K-3, where there are a lot of apps aimed at entry-level learning.
Multitasking and Apple Pencil support
Apple especially highlighted the iOS features for running two apps at the same time and the new capabilities with Apple Pencil in the iPad 9.7-inch.
iPad with Bluetooth keyboard
You can, of course, connect a Bluetooth keyboard if you want to use the iPad like a laptop at times. However, it won’t support the Smart Keyboard that the iPad Pro models offer.
A10 Fusion is in
The A10 Fusion processor gives the 2018 iPad 9.7-inch a nice speed boost.
Software for Apple Pencil
Apple also keeps refining the software in iOS to support the Apple Pencil.
Cameras in 2018 iPad 9.7-inch
The cameras in the iPad are especially aimed at augmented reality, since no one should be regularly using an iPad as a camera.
AR on the 2018 iPad
Apple has been investing heavily in augmented reality, and the new iPad’s 9.7-inch screen provides a lot of real estate for viewing AR apps.
Frog dissection on the iPad
In the future, some students may forgo physical frog dissections for virtual ones on the iPad.
AR on the new iPad
AR on the iPad certainly has potential for interesting learning experiences.
iPad home screen drawn by Apple Pencil
It is impressive what some artists have been able to draw with the Apple Pencil, like this iPad home screen.
Logitech's $49 Crayon
As a less expense alternative to the Apple Pencil, Logitech is offering a $49 “Crayon” that works in similar ways and is presumably aimed at younger users.
iPad for note-taking and highlighting
Taking notes and making annotations with a stylus like the Apple Pencil is still a phenomenon that looks good in demos but isn’t in wide use.
10 hours of battery life
Perhaps the feature that businesses and professionals care about the most is battery life.
Apple School Manager
Apple School Manager software gives the IT department the ability to create Apple IDs in bulk. A school of 1,500 can create IDs for the whole school in under a minute.
Teachers can see student progress
Apple’s tools for teachers look promising. But, it also has an uphill fight against Google Classroom.
New Classroom software for teachers
The interface for Apple’s classroom tools look impressive enough in the first demos.
Classroom is also coming to Mac
Thankfully, Apple is also bringing its classroom and teachers tools to the Mac as well.
Shared iPad feature for schools
Since a lot of schools have students share technology rather than each student having their own device, the Shared iPad feature is a must-have.
Apple Schoolwork app
Apple promised strong privacy settings
Apple also promised high standards in privacy. It said that its employees cannot see any student or teacher data, for example.
Learning coding on iPad
New ClassKit API
In the mode of HealthKit and HomeKit, Apple also unveiled ClassKit for developers to plug into its new education platform.
iPad already has lots of education apps
Tools to help teachers
Shared annotations in Apple iWork apps
To compete with Google Apps, Apple also announced Smart Annotation so that students, parents, and teachers can collaborate on documents.
iWork now integrates with Apple Pencil
iWork has improved collaboration
Numbers app with Apple Pencil support
Apple templates in iWork
Creative apps now have extras for students
Horace Mann quote
Apple Schoolwork app
Again, Apple’s Schoolwork app looks like a good experience in the initial demos.
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- How Apple, Google, Microsoft stack up in education technology: Hardware, software and deployment (ZDNet)
- Hands-on with the new iPad: Pencil support and more (CNET)
- Mobile device computing policy (Tech Pro Research)