Monday, July 30, 2018

Classroom App (Apple)

Are you an educator who is hesitant about handing out those laptops or tablets to kids during class time? Well, you are not the only educator that is like this, and understandably so. There are two fundamental issues with cutting the tablets/laptops loose to the kids. First, the risk of damage towards expensive classroom material. Secondly, and most importantly, the kids would just goof off doing unrelated work with the devices. The following graphic depicts how long an average child should be able to focus on the same task.

Well... you must be thinking, "I thought this was a pro-tech education blog. Why are there arguments that may actually be against a greater use of technology in the classroom?".

However, I would use these arguments to support a specific educational technology called the Classroom App by Apple. Frankly, regardless of whatever task you are doing with your students, their listed "concentration time" above will still probably apply. I believe in the Classroom App and the usage of iPads because using these devices could make your students more engaged, leading them to reaching the upper echelons of the "concentration times" listed above. For example, an 8 year old having fun with an assignment on an iPad may concentrate for 40 minutes. On the contrary, when a teacher lecture is given, the same 8 year old may only have a concentration period of 16 minutes. 

So why the Classroom App?

I recommend the classroom app because of the vast number of co-op tools it provides, and sadly, it's big-brother like monitoring tools. 

As a teacher, you can remotely create assignments and group projects. In fact, you can even create groups using your teacher device. In terms of monitoring and making sure your students stay on task, the classroom app provides screen monitoring for every student tablet. There are many more tools to be discovered within this app and I encourage you to watch this demo.

You can also read the teachers' guide for the Classroom App here.

I understand that cutting-edge technology is usually not very cheap, especially Apple products. However, I believe technology is an investment worth investing in because students will become so much more engaged in classwork. I can honestly still remember the middle/elementary school days when my friends and I would get super excited if the teacher rolled in a computer cart into our classroom. As long as the devices are maintained in good condition, they could be used for many years to come, perhaps even cutting down on costs for other supplies. 

For your convenience, you can find the Apple hardware/software price lists for US institutions here

Apple Teaching Tools:

Video Demo of Classroom App:

Classroom App teachers' guide:

Apple hardware/software price lists for US institutions:

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